Take a careful, cautious examination of your life

Published 4:19 pm Friday, May 27, 2016

With a few vegetables starting to come in from our garden, I have had a bunch of little girls excited about helping Papa. Jaleah, Anna Beth and Madeline enjoyed helping dig potatoes, and Addyson was right by my side as I picked squash. It is interesting how much they like doing those tasks while they are young, but seem to lose all interest when they get a little older. (Mallory, who is only weeks from entering into the unpredictable teenage stage of her life, is already a lot less interested in what Papa is doing than the rest of the girls, but that is alright; it’s just a phase of life I suppose.)

As Addyson was helping me pick squash after church Wednesday evening, I noticed that a couple of them were full of tiny holes. Worms! As I discussed the issue with her, I pulled out my pocket knife and split the little squash open to let her see what had inflicted the damage. Just as I expected, I found the little critter nestled deep inside the vegetable. I do not know if Addy was impressed with what I did and what I was showing her, but what had her curiosity stirred up was her wondering how that plump insect got inside through such a tiny hole. I doubt if my response to her inquiry met her satisfaction, but it was not long before we threw away the squash and her attention was turned toward other things. Looks like Papa survived another session of giving a lesson on life in nature!

That little squash that had been invaded by an unwelcome pest looked pretty good at first glance, but a closer examination revealed that there was a problem as the tiny holes could be seen. The problem became more obvious as I cut to the heart of the matter and found what had taken up residence in the middle of something that I had planned to get good out of. Had I rushed through what I was doing I would have failed to identify the existence of a problem. A careful, cautious examination can reveal a lot.

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There are a lot of things that can quietly invade our lives, corrupt us spiritually, and result in spiritual decay if corrective action is not taken. It pays for us to regularly take a careful, cautious examination of our hearts to make sure that sin is not destroying us from the inside out.

The Lord reminds us in Matthew 12:35 that “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him” (New International Version).

The outside responds according to what is on the inside, either good for the glory of God or evil for the destruction of the soul.

The words of the apostle Peter, although penned centuries ago as the Holy Spirit led him, are just as relevant to our lives today as when his ink was still wet: “His [God’s] divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him Who called us by His own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3).

It is through depending on God’s divine power that we are able to resist the evil that attempts to invade, infect, and injure us spiritually. Take a careful, cautious examination of your life to see what is residing on the inside. Then do as Romans 12:9 instructs: “Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”