Friday, March 13, 2009

#32 Just a Short Fall

Proverbs 16:18 NASB "Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit
before stumbling"

We have been blessed with three wonderful children and we love them dearly.
Yes, sometimes they make you want to pull your hair out but that is just
part of being a parent, right? I have always loved to watch the kids play
and discover things. They are so curious and want to learn everything at
once. You really have to keep a keen eye out or they will run off into the
street or who knows? Right? I can recall back when we were living in
Collegedale and I was attending Southern Adventist University for my
ministerial training. I worked most evenings at the Village Market and did
not get home until after 9 most nights. One evening I received a call from
Ginger and she was in a bit of a panic. She told me that the kids were out
back playing and all was great...for a while. During this time we had a
Little Tykes play set that consisted of a very short sliding board and a bit
of a climb-around portion. It was a really small thing designed for kids 3
and under and the kids loved it. That evening while the kids were playing
Carson made his way up the small steps to slide down the slide. When he got
to the top he lost his balance-not uncommon for 18 month olds-and went
tumbling to the ground. Like all children, he had fallen hundreds of times
but this one was different. When he got up he was crying uncontrollably.
When Ginger went to pick him up and comfort him it made it worse. After
about 30 minutes of crying without ceasing she decided to call me. She told
me the story and I asked her to load up the children and come to where I
worked only a few miles away. She made great time getting there and so I
went out to check on Carson. When Ginger told me that it seemed to hurt
Carson worse when she picked him up I feared that he had broken a bone.
Sure enough, when I ran my finger across his collarbone area on the left
side I could feel a bump that should not have been there. The x-rays
confirmed that his little collarbone had snapped and I was so impressed with
the way that Carson handled it all. He was so brave through it all. Who
would have thought that such a short fall would have broken his little bone?
Not me, that's for sure.

When I think back on Carson's ordeal it causes me to think about sin in our
lives. We all seem to set sin up on a scale that ranges from minimal to
monumental. I have heard so many people in my life say, "It is just a
little thing. It won't hurt anyone," or there is the ever-famous, "It's
just a little white lie" as if color has anything to do with mitigating the
disdain for sin in God's eyes. If you had told me that my son falling 18
inches to the ground would have fractured his clavicle I would have told you
that you were crazy and that little fall was not capable of breaking a bone.
Boy, would I have been wrong. Many people have the same mindset when it
comes to sin. They think that as long as they don't get washed away into
"big" sins then all is well. Friends, I am here to tell you that is a lie.
When God inspired Paul to write that all have sinned and come short of the
glory of God in Romans 3:23 he did not mean that all have just committed
"big" sins. The truth of the matter is that sin is sin. Period. If you do
something that is contrary to the will of God then you are guilty of sin and
worthy of death. It does not have to be some so-called big sin like
stealing or murder to be counted as sin in God's eyes. No, anything that we
know to do as revealed to us by God through His word or His messengers God
expects us to get in line and adhere to it. In James 4:17 we learn that sin
is anything that we know to do and don't do it. So I encourage each of you
to not fall into Satan's trap of thinking that as long as we are not
involved in "big" sins that we are Ok. Let us all realize that we are not
Ok apart from Christ. Let us all realize that even what seems like a small
sin to us is a slap in the face to our Savior. Let us all realize that even
a short fall can break us. Me may even walk around unaware that something
has happened inside after we choose to do a little sin, but if we do not ask
for forgiveness and for victory over that "little sin" then it could very
well lead us to fall in another area of our walk. I urge each of you this
evening to not let pride and arrogance get in the way of spiritual growth.
Instead, let the God of grace and mercy fill you with His Spirit to the
point where you too despise sin and sinning just like God does. I urge you
all to not let a short fall be the pathway that leads you away from God in
the form of a broken relationship with Him.

Dear Father God,
This evening I thank You for the reminder that even seemingly little things
can serve to sever our ties with You. I thank You that You love us beyond
what we can imagine and that You long to give us victory over sin. Please
cleanse us each one tonight and wash away the blot of sin on our hearts.
Give us victory please even over the so-called little sins in our lives. We
do not want any spot of sin left upon our characters because we do not want
to miss heaven for anything in this world. Mend us where we are broken I
pray in Jesus' name, Amen.

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