When Small Things Grow Up
Earlier this week I cut down a pine tree in my back yard due to a dangerous broken limb hanging over Anna Ryan’s play area. It was close enough to the house to potentially do major damage if a storm came. Years ago that tree was planted as an apparently harmless seedling. As a seedling it could do little damage but it was inevitable that it would grow up. Similarly, people often select a small puppy seemingly oblivious to the fact that it will one day grow into a large obnoxious dog. Little thought is given to the fact that these seemingly small things grow up.
Sin is a lot like a tree. Romans 6:23 declares, “For the wages of sin is death.” Where sin is present something has to die. Unrepentant sin of any kind or perceived size puts a damper on our relationship with God. We read in Isaiah, “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:1-2). Each day our bodies slowly die until we are laid in the grave. Our spirits are different. Unlike our body, our spirit can be renewed daily. Don’t read more into this than I am saying. I simply mean that we daily make a choice to receive or reject God’s grace and that if we reject it our spirits are slowly dying. Jesus had to die that we might have this grace, yet we knowingly plant small sins (whatever that is) in our lives and pretend it will not produce the fruit of death.
Praise Jesus that He has redeemed us and forgiven our sins. However, forgiveness of sin does not equal escaping the consequences of sin. We must never categorize sin but we must understand that some sins have greater consequences than others. No matter what the sin it is better to remove it from your life while it is small. The tree I removed this week took far more work than it would have taken a few years ago. To remove a tree is costly and it leaves a yard littered with stumps. Like sin, to allow the trees to remain litters my yard (life) with unwanted debris, presents a variety of safety hazards for my family and home, and blocks the sunlight. Had those pine trees never been planted it would have been far better. Uproot sin the moment you realize it is there.