Wednesday, March 23

Small Problem, Big Effect

Read Matthew 5:1-20

The light illuminated the page. I sat in my cozy living room with a book and its story was intriguing. I read with interest, consumed by the story...  until something distracted me.

In the stillness of the house, a shadow kept disrupting the light on my page. I looked repeatedly at the ceiling's bright fixture and saw nothing that would cause the ripple in the light.

Then I saw it. A tiny lady bug was crawling around the outside of the light's shade. The light was still somewhat effective, but there was that small distraction. I got up and took care of the interference and went back to my book.

If only it was that easy to get rid of the interferances (sin) that distract from our light (lives) as Christ-followers.

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 

Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. 

Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 

In the same way, let your light shine before men

that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."

Matthew 5:13-16

As I pondered the analogy of the ladybug distraction and sin distracting from my testimony, I realized this wasn't an easy topic to confront. It involves a prayer, with sincerity, to God, "What is the biggest distraction (sin) in my life? What keeps me from being a bright light for You?"

I heard a pastor once preach to a group of college students to ask God about the sin in our lives. He said we should ask and be willing to hear the answer, repent and change. We shouldn't be afraid that God won't answer.

I heard that message moments before the entire group of us was sent off to an alone prayer time. Even though I came from a Christian home, I never spent much time in prayer. I was terrified of the idea of an hour to spend in JUST prayer. I sat in a small, private area in a hallway and stared at my page: "Show me my sin," was scrawled across my notebook.

Unfortunately, my immaturity and fear kept me from going deeper with God in those moments. I thought about everything but what I was supposed to. I failed to pray and therefore I failed to get an answer.

The Scriptures are full of verses about living blameless, sinless, pure and holy like our Lord. Here is just one:

“Therefore I beg you, brothers, by the mercies of God, 

to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service.” 

Romans 12:1

The sins that haunt the dark corners of our lives feel hidden. No one sees that ugliness, right? God does. The small things we are unwilling to purge seem small, but present a big distraction. Not only in our following of Christ, but to those witnessing our faith.

"The acts of the flesh are obvious: [goes on to list sins that distract].... 

I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God."

Galations 5:19

If we are tempted to say "it's not that big of a deal" about the sins that hangs around our lives, we just need to read the above verse. "Those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God."

The tiny ladybug presented a big distraction from the light. What "small" sin is creating a big effect in our lives? My fear and immaturity kept me from confronting this question once before. How about you, do we have the courage to hear, repent, and change?

1 comment:

Andee said...

"We should ask and be willing to hear the answer." Imagining how difficult it will be to let go of whatever he tells me keeps me from asking far too often. God, give me courage to ask!