Many a minister has elucidated the problem of sin by describing the act of boiling a frog. According to armchair biologists, if you stick a living frog in a frying pan (who first thought of doing this?) and gradually turn up the heat, the frog will never notice the temperature increase due its cold-blooded nature and will burn alive, boiling from inside out by its own blood. (Pastors think nothing of providing this grotesque image to families with children.)
Anyway, it’s false. Completely false. There is actually a branch of science that concerns itself with cold-blooded animals and how they react to heat changes and one of their scientists, Dr. Victor Hutchison, has been widely quoted as calling this a pure myth. Believe it or not, scientists have actually performed this experiment only to see the frog jump out of the water when it was uncomfortable. (Reportedly, one of the scientists got frustrated and immediately went home to work on a new illustration for his Sunday School class.)
The message, however, is still true. When it comes to irresponsible behavior people do tend to start small and work up to the really big mistakes, but we’ll have to find a better analogy. If you know any good alternative stories that exemplify this part of human behavior let me know in the comments. Until then, be a frog; if something is wrong, even just a little, do something about it and don’t wait until things have gone too far.