And lead us not into temptation. (Matt. 6:13)

BEFORE BILL BRADLEY was a US Senator, he was a professional basketball player. In college, he played for Princeton University. Once, when the university basketball court was being resurfaced, he had to practice at the nearby Lawrenceville School.

Upon arrival, he began shooting fourteen-foot jump shots from the right side. Six in a row hit the back rim of the basket and bounced out. He stopped, seemed to make an adjustment in his mind, and shot again. He hit the basket cleanly and made four more shots without a miss. He paused and said to his friend, “You want to know something? That basket is about an inch and a half low.”

John McPhee, who wrote a book about Bradley, said he went to Lawrenceville some weeks later with a steel measuring tape. He borrowed a stepladder and measured the height of the basket. It was nine feet, ten-and-seven-eighths inches above the floor—one and one-eighth inches lower than the standard height.

Bradley had developed such an awareness of the proper height of the basket, he could tell when it was off by only an inch.

Our prayer that we would not be led into temptation might be more effective if we developed a greater sensitivity to sin. Charles Wesley wrote, “I want a principle within of watchful godly fear, a sensibility of sin, a pain to feel it near.”

Pray that your passion for Christ will far exceed your passion for sin.

Ron McClung, who works at his denomination’s world headquarters, lives in Fishers, Indiana, with his wife, Carol. They have two sons, nine grandchildren, and two great-granddaughters.