Slivers

Somehow when I was in the basement yesterday, I got a sliver from the floor in my foot. I didn't notice it much, but every once in a while I got a little poke in the bottom of my foot that kinda bothered me. It wasn't that big of a deal, so I left it. I figured it would work its way out since it was such a small sliver. It wasn't worth all the digging and cutting.

Last night every time I took a step it really kinda bothered me, but today, it's almost as if I've gotten used to the occassional little pick I get. It's not like I am running a marathon that I need to keep my feet in good condition. So...the sliver is still there.

In Hebrews 12:1 it says "Therefore, since we surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." The phrase that stands out to me is "sin that so easily entangles". Why and how does sin easily entangle us? It's like that little sliver. We convince ourselves that it's really not a big deal. It's just a little thing and isn't really bothersome, so we leave it. I'm talking about those things we might categorize as "little sins" (which, be reminded that sin is sin...it's not big or little, it's sin). Things such as: bad thoughts; gossip; not sharing our time, talent or money with God; watching a t.v. program that we know we really shouldn't; a little "white lie"; prayerlessness; overeating....You get the idea!

We tell ourselves that our particular sin is just a little thing, maybe hardly even a sin, and we let it go. We let it continue to be a part of our lives. But what happens when you don't remove those "slivers"? They tend to fester, get bigger and infection starts to set in. Now the sin is easily entangling us.

We are in a race. Little slivers will become bothersome and cause us to lose the race marked out for us, because our focus is off Jesus and on those things that have entangled us. Verse 2 of Hebrews 12 says that we need to "Fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith." What does it mean to lose the race? We face the Lord's discipline, we may cause other's to sin with us, we end up deeper and deeper in sin, we may even get to the point where we just give up and walk away from the race. How incredibly sad, because it began so small and could have been easily removed.

So I am off to remove my sliver...both the real sliver in my foot and a sliver I've been justifying for a while. How about you? Got any slivers?

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