May 30, 2008
“Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the Lord a man avoids evil.” Proverbs 16:6 (NIV)
My first mistake was that I named him. Every night “Stinkin’ Cute” appeared by my door. His sleek black and white fur shone underneath the porch light. The small critter’s eyes looked up expectantly for a nibble of food. I couldn’t resist. I tossed a piece of bread, which he held daintily between his paws as he gobbled it. Stinkin’ Cute, a baby skunk, was adorable—until he became a stinking nuisance.
It wasn’t long before the animal began to dig holes in the lawn looking for grub worms. He sat brazenly underneath the lawn chair and pawed around our yard as if he owned it. My dogs sensed the animal’s presence and barked endlessly. A nervous fear crept in my mind, “What if he sprays? How will I ever get rid of the smell from my patio?” I hadn’t realized that Stinkin’ Cute might become trouble. I assumed that when I tired of him, he would tire of me and up and leave. Wrong! It took a month of keeping my dogs inside and sprinkling cayenne pepper flakes across my backyard before Stinkin’ Cute gave up and went looking for a new place to picnic.
Isn’t sin the same way? It starts out as a seemingly harmless enticement, and before we know it, we are entangled and can’t seem to escape. One fib develops into a tangle of lies that cannot be sorted. A small fudging on our travel allowance turns into full-fledged office embezzlement; a little office flirtation grows into a sin-filled relationship. Suddenly, we wonder how we got ourselves into this situation—it seemed so harmless in the beginning.
We need to eradicate those sins in our lives that disguise themselves as “innocent.” Our key verse tells us that through reverent fear of the Lord we can avoid sin. His holiness should put our souls in awe.
Thankfully, Proverbs 16:6 also tells us that if we are involved in sinful behaviors that our sins are atoned for by the love and faithfulness of God. Today let’s ask for His help in ridding our lives of any type of stinking sin. Let’s take a moment and pray for wisdom, fear and forgiveness.
Dear Lord, forgive me for tolerating the small sins in my life. Grant me the strength to end them today. Teach me to have a reverent fear for You, my Lord and my Savior. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Perplexing Proverbs for Women Bible study by Susanne Scheppman
Read Proverbs 5:21-24. Rewrite these verses in your own words.
Do I fear the Lord God?
What “small” sins do I allow into my life?
How do my “stinkin’ cute” sins affect others?
1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (NIV)
1 John 2:1, “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.” (NIV)
Psalm 51:3-4, “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge. (NIV)
© 2008 by Susanne Scheppmann. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Friday, 30 May 2008.