Recently we had a little situation arise at our house. My family and I were propped up in our recliners, watching a movie when I thought I spotted something dart across the floor in front of the window. I shrugged it off since headlights from outside have often caused the same kind of moving shadows.
In a few moments I caught movement out of the corner of my eye. I turned my head just in time to spot the little pest as he whipped out and then back behind the loveseat.
“Oh, I did see something after all. There’s a mouse.” I pointed and drew my legs up as if that would keep the little critter from jumping up on me.
My husband ran over and closed the door to our den, trapping us in there with the pest. Suddenly the mouse scurried around to the other side of the room and hopped up onto the hearth. That made him level with my chair. Time to re-position. I hurried to an ottoman at the back of the room and perched on it, still watching for the pesky varmint.
My husband and daughter armed themselves with a pillowcase and a shoe box. I was no help except to squeal and indicate where I saw him run last.
“Dad, he’s just too fast,” my daughter said.
“I need to run to the store and get some of those sticky traps.” My husband headed for the door.
“Dad, you better take Mom with you before she has a heart attack.”
After securing our sticky weapons, my husband and daughter were able to catch the mouse and get rid of him. I was greatly relieved. I couldn’t even imagine not catching him that night. I wanted to make sure we were rid of him before going to bed.
This little story made me think about other pests I might need to rid my life of. The Bible tells us some specific things we need to get rid of.
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” Ephesians 4:31
“Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.” 1 Peter 2:1
“But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” Col. 3:8-10
The Lord would want me to rid myself of these pesky sins. He doesn’t want me to stop until I rid myself of these things. Oh, at first glance, I might think I have no problem with these sins. But do I hold bitterness toward another person? Do I blow up in anger at times? Do I speak about another person in a negative way?
God wants me to get rid of these pests in my life because these characterize my old self. I have to consciously rid myself of these pesky sins and focus upon being renewed in the image of Christ. Unfortunately, I will often hold on to these things, thinking I can rid myself of them another time. I don’t feel a urgency.
But as a Christian, I should feel as much urgency to rid myself of these bad habits as I was to get rid of that little mouse.
Admittedly, I wasn’t much help in catching that little critter, unless you count squealing and perching atop an ottoman helping. However, I am the only person who can take responsibility and rid myself of the practices of my old self and ask my Savior to help me resist that way and walk in my new life, striving to be like Christ.