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Little things that kill – Part 2


Kumuyi. Photo: GOSPELMINDS

“A Litlle folly,” a “little” sin, seemingly harmless, not exactly damning, but it is the beginning of damning iniquity. Slothfulness, ease and recreation might not have been damning for David but see what it did to him at last! Little sins make way for great ones. So it has always been. Little sins are as destructive as a little termite that enters the furniture and nobody seems to care. They are as potentially dangerous as a spark carelessly dropped by a lone man on the field.

Little sins sometimes act as burglars do: they take along a little boy who enters the house through a window that is so small it would not admit them in. Then he goes in and opens the door. Fear sin, no matter how small, fear it.

The smallest sin has ten thousand mischiefs sleeping within its bowels. Ask David who, in a mindless moment of ease, at a time the nation was fighting a war, ended up committing adultery and murdering the husband of his sin partner. Ask Achan, who fought gallantly with the army of Israel, recorded a great victory, but was captivated by the beauty of a little Babylonian garment (which he would never wear) and some pieces of money (which he would not be able to spend openly), and turned into a thief whose conduct became a hindrance to the entire nation of Israel.


‘‘A little folly’’ sometimes also refers to a weak or absurd act not highly criminal. It must be an act, which is inconsistent with the dictates of reason, or with the ordinary rule of prudence. It is the act of yours, which embarrasses those who believe in you. It is the careless act, the little indiscretion. And it springs out of a failure to heed the counsel of Scripture to ‘‘Abstain from all appearance of evil’’. Beware of unadvised living on borrowings, an unwise utterance that ruins family or even church harmony (Proverbs 17:28), an unwise but well-intentioned charity that throws a pastor open to suspicion among his church members.

Used very well, fire is a wonderful thing: it warms, cooks incinerates. A little misuse and it becomes a nasty destroyer: it burns, consumes, kills. So is the human tongue. It has great potentials both for good and for evil. Misuse of the tongue in gossiping, backbiting, evil speaking, falsehood, murmuring, has destroyed many relationships.


There is actually a strong connection between the measure of grace dwelling in the heart and the quality of words flowing out of the mouth. Therefore, the tongue of sinners come in various evil forms: They could be flattering tongue (Psalm 5:9), cursing tongue (Psalm 10:7), proud tongue (Psalm 12:3), deceitful tongue (Psalm 120:2,3), backbiting tongue (Proverbs 25:23), sharp tongue (Proverbs 12:18), lying tongue (Proverbs 6:16,17), perverse tongue (Isaiah 59:3) ‘‘What shall be given unto thee? Or what shall be done unto thee, thou false tongue?”
• Bridle it (Psalm 39:1)
• Keep it, that is, discipline it (1 Peter 3:10)
• Submit it to the control of the Holy Spirit (James 3:8)
• Pray on it (Psalm 141:3).

Further Reading (King James Version): Song of Solomon 2:15; Ecclesiastes 10:1; James 3:5; Ecclesiastes 10:1,3,12-14; 1 Kings 15:5; 2 Samuel 11:1-4; 1 Thessalonians 5:22; Galatians 2:11-14; 2 Corinthians 8:19-21; 2 Chronicles 19:2,3; Romans 14:16; Philippians 2:15; 2 Peter 3:11-14; James 3:1-6; 1:19,26; 2 Samuel 10:1-7; Proverbs 18:21; Jeremiah 9:3-8; Psalms 39:1; 141:3; 1 Peter 3:10-12.


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