A sign on a hiking trail once read – “A mountain will not hinder your progress nearly as much as a grain of sand in your shoe.” Anyone who has ever experienced a grain of sand in their shoe knows how annoying it can be. The same can be said of a small splinter or even an eyelash in our eye. Often, it’s not the enormous obstacles that keep us from advancing; it’s something as simple as a grain of sand.
There is a line from the Song of Solomon that is often quoted, “It’s the little foxes that spoil the vine…” Little foxes are dangerous because they can slip in undetected and nibble away small amounts while no one is noticing. Yet, over time, the result of little foxes can be as damaging as a hurricane.
Life is full of little foxes and therefore we must always be on guard against them. In addition, we must always be growing and developing as a believer. Consider these words of encouragement from the Apostle Peter –
In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins. (2 Peter 1:5-9 NLT)
Here are some of the ways I work at removing the sins which so easily beset me:
1) I pray openly, honestly and consistently to God about every area of my life. (Philippians 4:6)
2) I strive to reinforce truth in my life through the constant study of scripture. (2 Peter 1:5-9)
3) I confess my sins as soon as they occur and receive God’s forgiveness. (1 John 1:5-10)
4) I share my weaknesses with spiritual brothers whom I know I can trust and I ask for their prayer support. (Jas 5:16)
Don’t let a little grain of sin impede your spiritual progress. Receive God’s forgiveness and move forward.