If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. -Matthew 5:29-30
I learned this summer what it means to be a nitpicker. While vacationing in D.C., I discovered that my daughter had lice. Our “disaster response” was immediate! We left the Smithsonian, took the Metro to the Walgreens in Chinatown, stocked up on lice-killing shampoo and nit combs, and spent nearly 4 hours in the hotel room meticulously combing through the hair section by section. We didn’t do this just once. The regimen was repeated again and again in the days (and weeks) that followed.
While working to eliminate the lice, God reminded me that He commands us to deal with the sin in our lives similarly. Sins can be small and hidden, but once the Holy Spirit brings sin to your attention, the “disaster response” needs to be immediate.
Once we recognize that we have a problem, we need arm ourselves accordingly and deal with sin aggressively! Throughout scripture we are admonished to put iniquity far from us (Job 11:14) and put to death the misdeeds of the body (Romans 8:13, Colossians 3:5). If we fail to be completely surrendered to God’s will in our lives, if we overlook even one seemingly insignificant sin, disastrous consequences will follow. Consider the Old Testament account of Saul (1st Samuel 15). He was commanded to blot out Amalek from the face of the earth. He utterly destroyed most of the Amalekites, but left their king (Agag) alive. Saul failed to deal ruthlessly with Agag and for this disobedience, God removed Saul from his throne. This seemingly small sin had disastrous consequences for God’s people too. Descendants of Agag continued to wreak havoc on the nation of Israel for generations. Sin is the same.
Eradicating sin from our lives is not a one-time deal. I had to comb out my daughter’s hair again and again so that no hidden nits were able to grow to maturity. Jesus asked his disciples to watch and pray to avoid temptation and we must do no less. Satan is prowling around constantly seeking whom he may devour, so we must be alert and willing to prayerfully examine our lives. Do you have any nits of sin hiding in your life?
Prayer: God you know where I stumble. Deliver me from evil. Convict me of my hidden sins and help me live a victorious life in Christ! -Amen
Author anonymous (per daughter’s request)