I walked almost my entire exercise route this morning with a small pebble in my shoe. It was actually just a grain of sand, a piece of silt that had been washed onto my path from the previous night’s rain. But I still felt it.
It wasn’t big enough to be completely uncomfortable or to do any major damage to my foot. So, too lazy to bend over, take off my shoe, shake out my shoe, replace my shoe, and re-tie my shoe, I left it. I shook my shoe around a bit so I could get the tiny rock into a more tolerable spot under my foot, and finished my walk.
Is that what we do with sin, too, especially with the “little” ones we consider to be more of just a nuisance than a problem? Rather than realizing they are harboring the capability to cause some real damage, do we just shake them around a little bit, excusing them away until they are less noticeable? Do we let our hearts become so calloused to them that they move from damaging to uncomfortable to barely noticeable at all?
When I got home from my walk, took my shoe off, and finally removed the little pest that had been my exercise companion, I noticed my heel was actually throbbing a little bit. My little tag-along, a single piece of silt, had done more damage than I had anticipated. Thankfully, a little massaging of my foot made the discomfort lessen a little bit, but I still noticed it for awhile.
Jesus talked about specks of stuff in Matthew 7:3 when He said, “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?” He was illustrating a point about judging our neighbor, but He could have easily driven home another point by leaving off all but a few words. “Why do you pay no attention…?”
Why do we pay no attention to the “little” sins in our lives? Are we too lazy to remove them, too indifferent to the damage they are actually doing?
From now on, at the first sign of an unwanted stowaway, I am stopping in the middle of my walk, taking off my shoe, and getting rid of whatever it is that has found its way past my shoelaces. Pebbles don’t belong under my foot any more than sins belong in my life, no matter what size they are.
And I’ve saved a little piece of silt to remind me of just that.
©2014 Wendi Miller
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