My husband had an exhausting weekend. Due to a wake, funeral and church function, he spent 26 hours at the church house between Friday and Saturday. Around 8 p.m. Saturday evening, as we were walking back over to the house, my husband said, “All I want to do is go to bed.” But trying to be a thoughtful wife I said, “Why don’t you take a swim with me. You’ll feel refreshed. Then you can go to bed.” There really is nothing like an evening swim where we live. With the Desoto National Forest behind us, it is quiet peaceful. So, the children put on a movie and we went for a swim. All was well for about 5 minutes; that is until my husband went to clean out the skimmer and found a dead bat. I won’t go into the details, just let me say that it was not pleasant! We are logical people and we know in our minds that the 18,000 gallons of water could not possible be contaminate by one dead bat. But that did not change the fact that my husband was not happy. In fact, he was rather disgusted. He got rid of the bat and tried really hard to enjoy the water. He just couldn’t. We got out. He went to bed.
You know, there is a biblical principle that applies here. It is found in Ecclesiastes 10:1. “Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.” How true it is that it just takes a little folly to wreck a person’s reputation. A person can work their whole life on building a reputation of wisdom and honor and one act of foolishness ruins it. This is how sin works. It just takes a little. It is true with the individual person but also with the family. I try to teach my children that when one person in the family sins the whole family is affected. It is especially important that my boys learn this truth. They will one day be the head of their homes. The responsibility of being a leader is extremely weighty. The decisions they will make as husbands and fathers will affect their whole family. But not only is it true for the individual and families, it is also true for the church. This is because the church is a family of families. Galatians 5:9 says, “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” I realize that we live in a society that says, “Don’t judge me. What I do is none of your business. How I live is my personal decision.” But, according to Scriptures, when it comes to the church we are our brother’s keeper. Why? Because a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.
So, I will try to remember that it just takes a little sin and that little sin doesn’t just affect me, but also those around me. I’ll also try to remember that a dead fly can spoil all the perfume, that folly can wreck a reputation, and that a little leaven leavens the whole lump. Oh, and that one dead flying rodent ruins the whole swim.