Read 1 Corinthians 5
Many years ago I broke my left hand. It happened while I was working as an apprentice in a machine shop in Houston. The result was a trip to the hospital and a surgical procedure, during which the doctor inserted a stainless steel pin from my knuckle to my wrist to hold the bone in place while it healed.
During one of my follow-up visits, after the surgeon examined my hand, he mentioned that he'd not be there when I returned to have the pin removed, but he said his associate was well able to handle everything. Curious, I asked if he was planning to take some well-earned vacation time.
"Yes," he sighed, "I'm feeling a little drained these days, so I think I'll escape for a couple of weeks, play some golf, and relax." Then he added, "Also, I've got this little mole on my belly I need to have removed—no big deal, but while I'm away, I'll have that taken care of."
When I returned to have the pin removed, I inquired about my physician. The nurse stared blankly as the associate cleared his throat. Without looking up, he said, "Didn't you hear? He died last week." I was absolutely stunned. My mind whirled. I choked out, "He what?"
"It was cancer. When his surgeon made the incision to remove a mole, then probed deeper, he discovered that his entire abdomen was laced with malignant tissue. He never had a clue, just a slight yet steady drain in energy. Actually, the only thing on the surface was that innocent-looking little mole. He didn't live a week after they sewed him up."
Through the years I've often remembered that incident when I look at the slight scar on my wrist. And I am reminded that sin is a lot like that little mole. It starts "small," but soon it is draining and devouring our spiritual energy, like cancer in a body.
Because there may be little evidence on the surface to attract anyone else's attention or arouse suspicion, no one bothers to probe and investigate the devastation these sins are causing beneath the surface.
All the while, however, these silent and relentless killers are sucking motivation, draining energy, and blurring vision.
Don't wait. Before such sin eats deeper into our souls, we need to ask the Great Physician to excise it—to cut it away so that we can become spiritually sound and healthy.
While the mole of sin may appear small, its tentacles reach deep.
Excerpted from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll, Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.