In the Christian walk it amazes me how well we handle the big issues. For the most part the overwhelming majority of Christians do not rob banks, or snatch purses, or shoplift desirable items. However, we rarely struggle over taking a pencil or paper pad from the office, or taking a couple extra minutes on our break, justifying unauthorized lunch expense account purchases, and even giving less than our best to our mates and family.
It is the small sin that does you in. Things like procrastination, apathy, half-truths. There was a story several years ago about some beached whales. Scientists were puzzled over why these whales were beaching themselves. It was discovered that these huge creatures were chasing minnows and simply beached themselves in the process and died. It’s the little things that get you in your walk with Christ. It’s the little things that eventually lead to the big things that seem to sink you.
In these last few days, we have witnessed the running aground of the cruise ship in Italy. It was just a small thing; they had passed that way before; several times before, and they had made it through. It seems from all reports that each time, they got a little closer to the reef. I am sure there were alarms that went off, maybe they were silenced so as not to be a nuisance. But whatever, they got a little to close and ripped open a hole in the bottom of the ship.
Many years ago, there was something similar that happened to a great ship that was invincible as they thought. They wanted to beat the ocean crossing record. Full steam ahead. All warnings went unheeded.
In a recent study of the great ship the RMS Titanic, scientists discovered the real reason for the unsinkable ship’s demise. When they found the Titanic resting about 2.5 miles down on the bottom floor of the North Atlantic Ocean, they discovered that it was not a huge slice in the side of the ship that caused the Titanic to sink. No, it was that the seams of the ship had popped apart opening the ship to the sea. In a study made of the small rivets, it was discovered that they had been cast with a high residual of slag still in the iron. Slag left in iron causes iron to become brittle at extreme temperatures. When the great ship hit that iceberg, it was not that a hole was cut into the side of the ship, but that thousands of little rivets cracked under pressure.
Christian, it is the small things that get us. Solomon says, “Catch the foxes, the little foxes that are spoiling the vineyard,” (Song of Solomon 2:15). It is the small sin that does you in.