The glass slipped and then . . . CRASH! In an instant it shattered. I sucked in my breath and surveyed the damage. Broken parts in various sizes covered most of the floor. I wondered how I would ever pick up all the pieces. There were too many. It covered too much ground.
I recovered from the initial shock, sent up a quick prayer, and started in. Experience took over. I knew how this was done. I put on my flip flops, snatched the garbage can, and reached down. First the biggest segments. I cautiously grabbed those with my fingers and threw them into the trash. I worked slowly, methodically so I wouldn’t miss any or inadvertently be cut. Next I swept the smaller pieces. With the place of impact as the center, I made a wide circle with the broom and worked inward. Glass had made its way to places I didn’t think it would reach. Lastly, I folded a paper towel, wet it down, and wiped the floor, carefully covering every inch. I repeated this last step with several paper towels until they showed no signs of slivers. My concern was that one of my family members would step on a shard, not right away while we were all walking delicately, but later, after we’d forgotten about the break.
As I cleaned, it occurred to me the approach I took toward removing the obsolete item resembled the approach I take toward sin in my life.
Sometimes when the Lord reveals an issue that needs dealt with, it appears too big to tackle (like when the glass first shattered). But it must be addressed; otherwise the effects will still be scattered all over the floor. Not only is it a mess, but it’s a potential cause for injury to me and others.
Steps for Removal
Confess the sin, pray for guidance and begin. It’s easiest to start with the obvious. For example, if I am dealing with an eating problem, I throw away the tempting food (candy, chips, ice cream, etc.).
Next, look around for the smaller issues. In my example, I examine the wrong thoughts which lead to bad eating habits (it’s more work to eat well, bad food tastes better, etc.) and devise a plan.
Lastly, ask God to reveal the underlying issues (the slivers that can’t be seen but will cause damage). In my wrong-eating example, God may show me I am using food to feel comforted or I am not exercising self-control. These must be addressed lest I slip back into the same sin pattern.
After these steps are complete, I can walk freely.
Many who know me know I talk about food issues regularly (see more at http://foodliesandtruth.blogspot.com/). However these principles can be applied to all areas of life including financial, parental, marital, and others. Which area in your life needs attention?