Little sins destroy
Most of us probably remember “Gulliver’s Travels” written by Jonathan Swift.
Divided into four parts, the story tells how its hero, Gulliver, embarked on a series of travels to remote nations, only to be cast up some strange land as the result of calamities such as a shipwreck. Book one takes him to “a voyage to Lilliput where he awakens to find himself tied to the ground by a horde of six-inch-high Lilliputians who view him as the Man Mountain. These Lilliputians remind me of small sins in our lives
Not only are these sins powerful, they are also seductive because of there very size. They enable us to let down our guard. We know that we are not perfect; thus we assume that a little mischief, a little hanky panky is not only permissible but inevitable in life. Sin uses this assumption to steal into our lives when our defenses are down, convincing us that there is nothing to worry about because we can easily push these sins aside.
Seldom are we confronted with clear issues painted black or white. More often, our decisions are compounded out of innumerable choices, each so small that it often goes unnoticed. Rarely do we choose the fork in the road at one decisive moment.
Many of us suppose that we can easily handle the “little sins” whereas the “big” (mortal) sins may prove too hard to handle. I suspect that just the opposite is nearer the truth. Faced with monstrous evils, such as murder or rape, we are seldom tempted and our choices are usually clear. It is when the little sins begin to infiltrate our lives that we begin to have troubles. Because we think we can “handle” a mere handful of sins, particularly of the modest variety, we think we can handle them all.
To generalize from decades of pastoral counseling: the alcoholic never sets out to become captive to a bottle; he only wants to sip on a social drink. The embezzler never seeks to bankrupt his company; he only “borrows” some needed funds that he fully intends to repay as the company prospers. Sin never shows us the consequences of our compromises. Instead, it poses as a harmless midget so that we will simply shrug and not bother to banish it from our lives.
Perhaps the key question to building a life of integrity is: What influences are directing my life? What are the little sins that keep you from being the person Christ wants you to be? Don’t let a six-inch Lilliputian sin keep you from finishing the journey of faith to which God called you.