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Stones and Daggers

“I think something’s wrong…”

My wife stopped what she was doing and looked at me curiously. 

“I have a really weird pain in my back.”

I wasn’t being fully honest.  Something was very wrong, but I didn’t want to admit it.  Just moments before, I sat peacefully on the couch with my laptop… but now it felt like a flaming python was wrapping around my torso, its searing squeeze tightening by the second.  

I winced and mumbled something about needing to lie down.  Stumbling up the stairs, I never made it to the bed.  Waves of pain radiated through my body.  I crumpled to the floor.  What was happening to me?!

I’m one of those people who avoids the doctor as much as possible.  A few years ago I crashed my mountain bike in the woods and a broken branch pieced deep into my leg like a dagger.  I pulled the stick out like I was in “Braveheart,” and foolishly convinced myself that no further medical attention was needed.  The merciless pain I endured later that night was a hard lesson learned (and led to a hospital visit the next day anyway).   

This time I knew better.  Long story short, after an excruciating trip to the ER and hours of tests, I learned the pain that literally brought me to my knees was caused by a tiny kidney stone – only about a millimeter in size.  

Doctors told me that kidney stones are one of the most painful medical conditions a person can experience.  Believe me, I understand that now.  I would have given anything to be free from whatever was causing the problem.  It instantly became my first priority.

Lying in the hospital later that day, I reflected on this in a spiritual sense.  We all have certain sinful issues in our relationship with God.  These painful areas may be obvious daggers or tiny stones hidden deep within — but they’re all destructive to our spiritual well-being.  

Addressing these issues should be a top priority for Christians.  But for some reason, we don’t always treat our own sin with urgency.  Sometimes we tend to think of it more like a little scrape or bruise.  Yes, we’re wounded, but it’s a non-critical situation… no need for an immediate cure.  Even glaring “injuries” are sometimes ignored, and we pretend that everything’s just fine.  

Excusing our own sin is not a new concept.  We can point out a whole list of biblical blame-shifters.  But 1 John 1:8 says that if we overlook our own sin, we’re not living in the truth.  Every time we ignore or dismiss our sin, we miss the grace and healing God offers us.  He would love nothing more than to help us recover — but first we must admit that we need treatment.

1 John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us.”  

– Ron Reid

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