Have you ever thought about how something so teeny tiny can really throw your life in a tizzy?
Consider this… Just missing a payment or two of a school loan can really jack with your credit score. Going just a few miles per hour over the speed limit can impact your driving record when the cop writes out that fateful ticket. Olympic races are sometimes won and lost in just milliseconds.
Sin in our lives is the same way. Just a little “tiny” one, if left unattended, it can really mess with our lives. (Sidenote: there are not “big” and “small” sins… A sin is a sin is a sin. But I think we sometimes consider some “smaller” than others as a means of justifying our actions. But that’s another blog post. Anywho…) I personally think having unrepented sin in our lives is like having a splinter in our finger.
Think about it. A splinter might be tiny. And barely noticeable. Maybe a little painful. But it’s annoying. And we still KNOW it’s there. If left untouched, rarely does it resolve itself… instead, it could get infected and impact our entire being. All of which could be avoided with a little yank of the tweezers.
Same story with sin.
An even more extreme (yet very possible!) comparison came to mind when I thought about the good ol’ Western movie Lonesome Dove. (Spoiler alert! If you haven’t watched this movie and might want to some day, skip the next couple of paragraphs. Because I’m about to tell you a major part of the story…) Remember in Lonesome Dove near the end of the movie? Feisty former Texas Ranger Augustus McCrae is in a standoff with some Indians… And ends up taking an arrow to the leg. Well, by the time he escapes and gets back to civilization, it’s infected pretty bad.
He wakes up and the local ol’ west doc has amputated the leg that had the arrow in it… And says that they need to remove the other one immediately because gangrene has set in. If they don’t act fast… Gus will die from the infection. But, in typical cowboy (who am I kidding? in typical stubborn humanness) Gus refuses and says he would rather be dead than lose that part of him. Sadly… That’s exactly what happened. Because he refused to take the necessary action to fix the “infection,” he lost his life.
I don’t tell you all this to gross you out or depress you. Instead, it’s just an illustration the gravity of having unresolved sin in our lives. When we let a sin stay with us and refuse to “remove” it or repent, just like that splinter or indian arrow… It can eventually fester, get infected, start impacting all areas of our lives giving the devil a foothold… and eventually result in our spiritual death.
So what are we supposed to do about it? First, we have to quit lying to ourselves saying _____ is just a small sin, a “splinter” in our finger. (We all are tempted to think like this. It is the messed-up-ness of our sinning human selves.) Then, we need to come to God and repent. Nothing fancy. You don’t have put on a production… Just “Hey Father, I really messed up… again. I’m sorry.” After that, we must continue to cling to Jesus and recognize when sin tries to rear its ugly head in our lives, God can give us the strength to avoid it. And if we don’t avoid it? We repent and try ‘er again.
We don’t (and probably won’t) get it right, my friends. However, we can rejoice in the truth that God’s grace is enough– for all of our sins. He loved us enough to send His son to die on that cross… and He loves YOU today and wants to help you with whatever you are facing. Sin separates us from God– and He desires to walk with you and stay close by your side.
So let’s say so-long to those reoccurring sins. Get rid of those “little splinters” and rejoice in His abiding, abundant, overflowing love.
Sayonara to Splintery Sins,
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” ~Luke 6:41 NIV