[ecko_quote source="Psalm 24:3-4"]Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully [/ecko_quote]
Several years ago, one of our beloved Aunty Devanamma Mithra Raduva, Mother of Bro Shadrach Raduva (who slept in the Lord two days ago and her funeral service is today) spoke at the Shalom Fellowship - Auckland, New Zealand, on wisdom. Her message revolved around Ecclesiastes 10:1 “As dead flies cause even a bottle of perfume to stink, so a little foolishness spoils great wisdom and honour. “బుక్కా వాని తైలములో చచ్చిన యీగలు పడుట చేత అది చెడువాసన కొట్టును; కొంచెము బుద్ధిహీనత త్రాసులో ఉంచినయెడల జ్ఞానమును ఘనతను తేల గొట్టును.(ప్రసంగి 10:1) During the course of her message, she said, we need not do big sins but a little foolishness in our lives is more than sufficient to lose our honour and respect. కొంచెము బుద్ధిహీనత చాలు మన జీవితము పడిపోవుటకు మరియు చేడిపోవుటకు. పెద్ద పెద్ద పాపములు అవసరము లేదు గాని... కొంచెము బుద్ధిహీనత చాలు. We have been richly blessed by this message. She had very rich experience and an in-depth walk with Christ.
On the bargain counter of the department store we sometimes find merchandise of the finest quality marked down to incredibly low prices. We pause and wonder. Such quality, such beauty of design, such workmanship—and so cheap! However, closer examination reveals the truth, or perhaps a modest cardboard sign tells the story: "Slightly soiled, greatly reduced in price."
In the market of life, we find much human material similarly marked down. Many of these people are gifted, cultured, and of high potential, but slightly soiled—in speech, in character, in reputation—and drastically reduced in worth. They are not ruined, but they are disqualified for the highest achievements; they are defeated in their noblest aspirations. The best to which they can ever attain is only second best to that which might have been, had they kept their hands clean and their hearts pure. Slightly soiled is a greater loss than totally destroyed.
True in the world of merchandising. Truer still in the Kingdom of God. The great losses of the church do not come by its members falling into flagrant, shocking iniquity but the subtle sins that slightly soil. Just enough to dim their Christian radiance, muffle their testimony, or impair their influence so that they are a total loss to the Kingdom of God. THE SIN THAT SLIGHTLY SOILS IS DEADLIER THAN IT APPEARS. Not sin in grosser forms but milder forms.
After a violent storm one night, a large tree, which over the years had become a stately giant, was found lying across the pathway in a park. Nothing but a splintered stump was left. Closer examination showed that it was rotten at the core because thousands of tiny insects had eaten away at its heart. The weakness of that tree was not brought on by the sudden storm; it began the very moment the first insect nested within its bark. With the Holy Spirit’s help, let’s be very careful to guard our purity.
How those words should penetrate your heart when you think of them- slightly soiled …. greatly reduced in price. How many Christians who allow their lives to become spotted and stained by sin at much of the value of their Christian witness. When James challenged us to keep “unspotted from the world” it was not a call to some kind of monkish isolationism. James was talking about insulation, not isolation. After all, Jesus Himself called us to be in the world but not of the world (John 17:14-17). We insulate ourselves from the world’s influence by first knowing Christ, then by sowing consistency in our lives, and, finally, by showing godly character in our conversation, our concerns, and our conduct.