My wife Betty hates mice. She is not happy until every attempt to eradicate and seal them from the house has been accomplished. And of course, every year at about this time new evidence of their infiltration appears. Or worse yet, one dares to run across the floor in broad daylight. Yesterday was that kind of day. This particular mouse was not content to sneak around and leave presents, it had to visibly scurry around and loudly gnaw on things. This, of course, led to great frustration and a litany of condemnations against the small rodents. Traps were set and the execution of the invader was successfully carried out.
I write this not to poke fun at Betty, although her passion against mice does grind a bit. My mindset is more along the lines of “Ok, mice happen, we’ll do what we need to do, but why get worked up about it.” I do however write about Betty’s mouse hatred to illustrate a point about sin.
Let’s say that mice are like sin. Sin happens. It invades our life, leaves messes for us to clean up, gnaws at heart, steals our food, and nests in hidden places. Sin is ugly. It has consequences and grows. Not content to be by itself it brings other sins with it. One time a few years ago a shrew dug a small hole under our porch. It was kind of annoying in that it loved to eat some of Betty’s flowers. But eventually, it left. but we noticed that the hole kept getting larger. We’d fill it in but it kept getting dug back out. We’re still not quite sure what moved in, we suspect it was a skunk and then a raccoon. (Good thing we don’t live in bear country.) A friend set traps but we never did catch anything. It eventually left after we blocked up the hole with a big rock. The point, of course, is that a little sin opens the way for larger ones.
The question for this article is what do we do when “sin happens”. What is our attitude towards it? Do we ignore it, complacently push it aside, or aggressively reject it? David wrote about hiding his sin, “When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away Through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. Selah.” (Psalm 32:3–4, NASB95) There are several instances in scripture where a small sin led to larger sins, Samson is a good example. God placed a vow on him, which he slowly violated until the point he threw it all away. Fighting against sin requires an attitude similar to that of Betty’s with mice. A kind of discontentment that will not rest until the sin that has found a home in our heart is eradicated and the holes it snuck in have been plugged up.
The good news is that God is gracious. David continues, “I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I did not hide; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”; And You forgave the guilt of my sin.” (Psalm 32:5, NASB95) God forgives our sin through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Our job is to recognize and resist the invader of our soul. As Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10, NASB95) What’s chewing away at your heart? What sin is nesting there? But more importantly what is your attitude about it?
Oh, and if anyone has any good mouse proofing ideas let me know!