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Start Nit-Picking

Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown,gives birth to death.  James 1:15

Photo courtesy of morguefile and taliesin.“Nit-picking.” According to Webster’s Dictionary, it’s the act of “paying too much attention to petty details.” I have always assumed this action to be undesirable until recently.

For awhile now, I’ve been nit-picking—for real. I’m waging a war against lice—tiny white eggs that I can barely find. White, oval nits with microscopic legs and tiny black oblong bugs that look like specks of dirt until they start scurrying across my son’s head and biting him. How could this happen? We’re too clean to get lice.

Since we’ve used the shampoo, we should all be nit-free now, right? Turns out, each louse mass-produces 100 eggs at a time. They crawl into our pillows, sheets, blankets, coats, chairs, and rugs. These little buggers play to win. If I want to get these pesky little bugs out of my house before they take over, I’ll have to root them out, one nit at a time.

After about the third week of combing and washing, I had a spiritual revelation. These little white nits hiding in my hair are like the seeds of sin—they are my shady thoughts, my hushed fantasies, my unspoken jealousies, and my private greed. These sins are so small and seemingly insignificant I can barely see them. In fact, if I catch one, I will likely assume it’s something else.

James explained our sin like this: “Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”

My secret sins are no less dangerous or aggressive than my lice. Sins are born to populate. They hide from casual view, but they intend to take over my life. It will take close inspection and realistic analysis to identify the small but deadly sins in my life. Reading Scripture, praying, and listening to the Holy Spirit will guide me into an understanding of my sin and how to replace it with godly actions.

So I will inspect and analyze the evidence. I will nit-pick until it’s gone.

Will you?

(Photo courtesy of morguefile and taliesin.)

(For more devotions, visit us at www.christiandevotions.us.) 

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Sue Schlesman

Sue Schlesman lives and ministers in Richmond, VA, alongside her pastor/husband Shane and their three sons. She is an author, English teacher, practical theologist, and boy-mom. You can read her blog at www.susanwalleyschlesman.com