My youngest is our little guy Samuel. He is a zany, smiley little fella and ALL boy! He does lots of great stuff that only boys think of. One of those things is lapping up whatever may have spilled on the floor, just like a little puppy dog. At times, it is really funny to watch because he is so cute and he just doesn’t know any better.
There are also times when I realize what he is attempting to ingest, and it strikes mortification and horror in me, like the time after we had a pretty good rain… My husband found Samuel slurping up a green tinted puddle of genuine cesspool. YUCK! I wasn’t right there, but I heard him holler, “You’re going to get sick from drinking that stagnant water!” I ran to investigate and pull him off the puddle. It was rather like pulling a dog off his dish-or to be Biblically correct, his vomit. There was a struggle, and then Samuel expressed his fury with me by exhibiting a ‘Class A’ tantrum.
Of course, that got me to thinking… “Why on earth would he drink such nastiness, and then protest so much when I am saving his LIFE??”
Samuel didn’t see it that way at all. In fact, he was angry I had stopped him from drinking his delightful puddle!
Is it just me, or do you see the Spiritual illustration screaming from this situation??
Isn’t that just how we are? A verse from Proverbs comes to mind that illustrates it well:
Often times, in our own ignorance, we will protest against someone pulling us off our cesspool. Maybe yours is a particular sin, or maybe it is a doctrine or teaching not found in the Bible.
Ultimately, the result is this: we do what we like to do, and sometimes, we continue doing those things even when it can lead to our own demise. We will fight tooth and nail to hang onto that thing that we want-just like Samuel with his puddle, or like the biblical analogy from Proverbs about the dog with his vomit!
But what if we could reason with Samuel or the dog? What if we could tell them that what they are enjoying so much may make them sick, or even kill them?
2 Timothy 4:3-5
3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,
4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
God gave us a community of believers that we might “reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching” one another. Being faithful to one another in this way is an act of love. We should teach each other truths that will help us to know the “cesspools” when we see them. This will equip us to avoid them at all costs, or it may even help us to get out of one! Then, we can pass that truth and knowledge on to those around us.
Yet, there are so many things that will hold us back from leading each other in this way-or following such leading.
We worry about how people will react to us, that maybe that they won’t be friends with us anymore, or ___________ (you fill in the blank). But think of this-if I just let Samuel drink up that nasty water, what kind of mother would I be?? I know it could make him sick. What if I just said to myself, “Yes, this could cause him to become deathly ill or worse, but he is enjoying it so very much, how could I interfere with that??” And then, what if I do nothing to stop it? Answer: I would be a bad mother. I would be selfish not to risk conflict in order to save my little boy from harm.
I also realize that as Samuel’s mother, I am to train him up and teach him Biblical truth. It doesn’t stop there, though.
God gave us marching orders to share truth with all the people of the world. We are to minister that truth to both those who belong to Christ, as well as to those who do not yet know Him. Jesus said “Go into all the nations and preach the Gospel…” If I don’t share the gospel message with my friends and family, I am not truly loving them the way that Christ loved me. I have been given such an awesome gift in Him; I want everyone to know the wonder of the cross. I want them to know that apart from Christ, they are just eagerly lapping up a cesspool of death.
So, I don’t mind snatching someone up by the nape of the neck (in love) to show them that they will die from the water they are drinking! Since I have been given such amazing grace from God, I want others around me to experience and know that same grace!
Now, next time you see someone enjoying a “Proverbial” cesspool cocktail, may you be compelled to minister grace in love.
Written that the name of Jesus will be praised,