When you get one thing under control it seems that a number of other things pop up to take its place. This happens in all areas of life but especially in dealing with sin.
Do you remember the summer nights when we would sleep with the windows open and hear coyotes down at the creek? The lonesome howling would send shivers up my spine. We were so careful to shut the chickens up safely in their pen, as well as all the other livestock that needed to be protected. Well, I haven’t heard the shrill barking recently. It seems hunters have taken care of this problem. But now we have other issues!!
With the disappearance of the coyotes, our newest problem has become bunnies. I know that bunnies are cute and harmless, but they reproduce quickly, and a whole swarm of them have taken over the fields around our house. Every day I count numerous babies crossing the road and darting into the corn. And those are only the ones I see.
My morning walks have become a regular tug of war with Apache as she becomes alert to every movement in the brush beside the bike path. The tug of the chase is in her blood, and it has taken all my strength to keep her under control sometimes. Needless to say, my walks are not very relaxing. Of course, the muscles in my left arm have gotten much stronger!
It got me to thinking how we often pay attention to “big sins” in our life. We know we shouldn’t murder, commit adultery, or steal, and often we feel we have gotten those “coyote sins” under control. But unbeknownst to us, our “small sins” start reproducing and take over our life. These are things like greed, jealousy, unjust criticism, bad attitudes, self-centeredness, gossip, gluttony … the list could go on and on. Somehow these sins are comfortable, soft, and cute, like the little bunnies. They become familiar, and we don’t see them as a problem.
But they are!!
Sin is sin! It needs to be dealt with … and often with these RADICAL measures.
Reading God’s Word: God reveals our sin to us through the Bible.
Alertness: Our adversary, the devil, longs to trip us up. Stay alert to his schemes.
Determination: Determine to obey fully all that God says.
Inclining Your Ear: Listen carefully for God’s voice.
Confession: Keep short accounts with God. Regularly ask for forgiveness.
Accountability: Find a close friend who will ask you hard questions and keep you accountable.
Longevity: Realize and determine that your plan needs to be for life.
Walking with Apache down a road hopping with little bunnies is not always enjoyable. Experience has taught me I need to stay alert if I don’t want to be yanked off my feet.
Likewise, sin of all types can take you unawares. Make sure you don’t get lax thinking you have life under control just because you don’t hear any howling coyotes. Instead, put these RADICAL measures in place, and nothing, not even seemingly harmless sin, will jerk you off the path God has for you. — Love, Mama
Sandra Sheridan is a Midwest wife and mother of five. She shares her letters to her children with our readers. Visit her at www.VersesFromMama.com.