Tag Archive | sin

Of Lice and Sin

magnifying glassThe dreaded text came late one night while my daughter was away from home visiting my sister and brother-in-law across the country: “Mooooooom! I have lice!”

Whaaat? How? Where did they come from? As my husband would say later, these are not helpful questions.

After calming down my daughter via text message and having her talk to her aunt, I hopped on the internet to do some research.

I made it 20 years of child raising before facing this experience.

I don’t recommend it to anyone.

Also, don’t google this issue unless you absolutely have to. You’ll have nightmares. I promise.

And so my lucky sister got to be the first to start dealing with this problem. Do we try natural solutions which may or may not solve the problem? Do we go the traditional shampoo route? A combination of the 2?

No matter what was decided, one thing was clear: they had to do something. Leaving the situation untreated was not an option.

Once my girl came home a few days later, we spent the next 2 weeks diligently combing her hair every day and shampooing with the special shampoo at least 2 more times.

Those 2 weeks of nit picking taught me something: lice are a lot like sin.what-is-sin

 

When looking for nits, the teeny little lice eggs that would hatch if left alone, I had to have a bright light and good eyesight. I used a very fine-toothed comb and spent a solid hour combing through small clusters of golden hair looking for those eggs that closely matched the highlights glittering in my child’s locks. It was a tedious process, but it was necessary to make sure that no more little buggies were going to live to multiply again.

It’s the same with sin. We must ask God to help us see what we are not seeing in our own lives. Are we harboring anger against anyone? Is pride gaining a foothold? Are we compromising in even a small way?

The unexamined life leaves sin to gestate and hatch and grow and molt until it reproduces into something that eventually takes over.

The results won’t be pretty.

King David asked the LORD to search his heart and see if there was any evil way in it (Psalm 139:23).

We need to know that any sin, no matter how small, will multiply if we do not ask for God’s help in identifying it and eradicating it from our lives.

Woman in Shower Washing her HairA couple of days after I had declared my child to be nit free, another friend texted saying she thought she had lice. Oh no, please, Lord. As I asked questions and heard her description of her experience, in all my expertise of 2 weeks of dealing with this issue, I began to doubt that what she was seeing was an infestation. Sure enough, when she came by for me to check a few hours later, the  little white stuff she was seeing in her hair was not nits, but simply dandruff from a recent change in shampoo.

Relief was felt by all.

I’m not suggesting that we beat ourselves up over every imperfection—His grace is sufficient for our shortfalls—but I am suggesting that we not overlook what God is nudging us to take care of. Those little Holy Spirit itches that alert us that something might be amiss. The counsel of a wise and loving friend can help us identify if an attitude is wrong or an action is not Christlike, but as in the false alarm of my friend, sometimes we might think we see something that truly isn’t there.

But isn’t it better to have it checked out than to assume it’s nothing and let it go?

Since my kids are older, I thought I had bypassed the lice issue. But I was wrong. I should have been aware that we were still vulnerable.

Just like with sin.

I have a good marriage, but I don’t take for granted that my husband or I won’t become repentance2hard hearted toward each other some day. We need to protect and nurture our relationship.

My kids have good friends, but someone could still come along and lure them away from their relationship with the Lord.

There will be no pointing finger or saying “that will never happen to me.” Truth is, it always could. Just like with lice.

There but for the grace of God go I.

images from pixabay.com; lifehopeandtruth.com; health.com; lovestthoume.com

The Disease of Sin

happy maskI read a devotional the other day that was thought-provoking. The writer, Dr. Ed Young, spoke of British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge and how he had been faithful to his wife their whole marriage. But Muggeridge always had in the back of his mind that he wanted to have an affair, just to see what it was like.

One day, when Muggeridge was in India by himself, he saw his chance. Taking his usual morning swim in the Ganges River, Muggeridge saw a woman bathing by herself some distance away. Thinking that no one would ever know, he swam upstream toward the woman. Young describes that Muggeridge was “struggling not just against the water, but against the current of his own conscience.” Swimming underwater, Muggeridge surfaced near the woman, and what he saw gave him the shock of a lifetime: The woman was a leper. Young says, “Her nose was eaten away. There were sores and white blotches all over her skin, and the ends of her fingers were gone. She looked more like an animal than a human.

“‘What a wretched woman this is,’ [Muggeridge] thought to himself, but at the same moment, he was overwhelmed with a devastating truth: ‘What a wretched man I am!'”

Dr.  Young surmises that Muggeridge, though he didn’t say so in his autobiography, must have come face to face with something profound: “Physical leprosy is crippling and terminal, but spiritual leprosy is deadly and eternal. Muggeridge’s real-life, graphic experience illustrates an unalterable truth: When we walk away from the commands of God, we walk right into disease–the disease of sin.”

This also reminds me of the movie “The Picture Of Dorian Gray.” The man on the outside looked handsome and kind, but the picture he kept hidden away took on all the ugliness that was the sin inside him. Jesus had a term for this kind of person: whitewashed sepulcher. You look good on the outside, but what is inside you is rotten, and dead and stinking.

With the help of the Holy Spirit, our outside should match our inside.

“From the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45).

Thankful today for:

831. my son Nathan who turned 14 yesterday

832. party planning with friends

833. the power of the Holy Spirit who helps me overcome my fears

834. wisdom when I ask for it

835. living in Florida, where 60 degrees is cold

836. daddy-daughter dances

837. 30% off Kohl’s coupons

838. games

839. pitchers and catchers reporting 🙂

840. people who know more than I do

 

Take Heed Lest You Fall

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I am under no illusions that I am perfect or impervious to sin. Obviously, I sin everyday. But it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that my sin isn’t as bad as somebody else’s. Is my pride worse than murder? If I looked at things society’s way, I could think that. They don’t throw people in prison for pride. We think our justice system is overloaded now, whew! Every house would have to be a prison if pride was punishable.

But God sees it that way. “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).

I heard the other day that the pastor of a church here in Orlando had an affair and stepped down from his ministry. This is a big church that many friends of mine attend. It made me very sad, not only for the husband and his wife and children–and his father, who pastors another very large church in the area–but for my friends who were under his leadership. But I also think that God wept at his sin.

But He weeps at mine as well. Mine just aren’t quite as visible, and they don’t hurt as many people. But they are still ugly in God’s eyes. Praise be to our Lord Jesus Christ who covered my sin with His blood. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool” (Isaiah 1:18).

It’s easy to point fingers at other people; it’s much more uncomfortable to point them back at ourselves. It’s easy to sit on the seat of judgement; it’s much harder to be the one standing before that seat. But we all deserve to be there. I don’t look at this man with judgement in my eyes, I look in the mirror and say, “There but for the grace of God go I.”

Thankful today for
678. Grace
679. My Christmas packages already ready to mail
680. A decorated house
681. Advent
682. A promise fulfilled
683. Laughter
684. Dog hair (’cause it means we have a dog)
685. Amazon.com
686. Shared life
687. That my eldest doesn’t need me to get up with him on school mornings
688. The ability to reason
689. My children’s health

Unwashed Faces

A friend shared a story about arriving home one day to his small daughter’s exuberant welcome. Problem was, she was covered in spaghetti sauce, having just been fed by her mom. Being still in his work clothes, my friend held off his daughter’s embrace so as not to soil his nice clothes. In his sharing of this story, as I remember it, my friend felt regret that he hadn’t just as joyfully embraced his dirty daughter as God so joyfully embraces us, His dirty children.

James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

Joyce Meyer points out the order in which those things happen: draw near to God, then cleanse your hands and purify your hearts.

We can’t become clean on our own. Nothing but the blood of Jesus can accomplish that. If we wait until we’re clean to draw near to God, instead of trusting in Him to do the cleansing, we will never come to Him.

I think about my friend’s story whenever I try to keep my kids’ dirty hands away from my clean clothes. Oh, that I would accept them, dirt and all, the way God accepts me.

Thankful today for:

519. puzzles

520. creative smoothies

521. partnership

522. laughter

523. praise music

524. cleanliness

525. acceptance

526. weekly trash pick up

527. thunderstorms

528. my kids still liking to be with me

529. my Macbook Pro

530. experts

A 9-Year-Old’s Analogy

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The other night while Morgan and I were out on a date in the pouring rain, she gave me this analogy:

Life is like being in the rain; sin and bad things fall on us, but Jesus is the umbrella. He protects us from the bad things and the sin. Without Him, we would get soaked by those things.

Pretty profound for a 9-year-old, right?

Anyone who has been in a Florida thunderstorm knows that when the wind blows, the rain comes in sideways. You still get a bit wet, but not nearly so much as you would without that umbrella.

We who have Christ are not immune from bad things happening to us. We still are touched by sin. But God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in time of trouble (Psalm 46:1).

Thanks, Morgan

Thankful today for:
357. The smell of candles
358. Fresh melon for breakfast
359. Lake parties my kids love
360. People who have great ideas
361. Nathan’s crazy sense of humor that makes not-so-fun tasks go by more quickly
362. New clothes
363. New mercies every morning
364. Sunshine
365. Shadows

What Yard Work Taught Me About Sin

If you don’t have borders, even good things can turn bad.

Sin is attractive sometimes. Knowing the roots and fruit are essential to telling the difference between the real beauty and the junk.

If you try to root out all the sin in one day, you’ll get discouraged and never want to tackle it again.

Sometimes you find sin in unexpected places, even in the middle of something that’s good.

Work with another person to control the sin in your life–it’s so much more fun.

It doesn’t work to just cover up sin, the roots are still there and eventually, the truth will come out.

Some roots go a lot deeper than you think, and sometimes you just need professional help.

Sin never, ever totally goes away. We are never free from it and it’s a constant battle to keep it at bay.

Life is messy and hard and it hurts, but it’s worth it for the beauty in the end.

 

 

 

Thankful today for:

345. Flowers

346. the first full day of summer break

347. photographs