This past summer, I took some of our indoor plants outside and they did really well. The green plants increased in size by probably 30%. The flowering ones produced beautiful blossoms.
As the weather began to cool, I brought the plants back into the house and returned them to their normal place in our garden window. After a few days of patting myself on the back for my bright idea of placing them outdoors, I discovered that all was not fine. Little by little, we saw tiny black flies appearing in our home.
At first I thought maybe a few of these flies had managed to get in while the door was open. But as the number increased, I noticed they were hanging out in “fly gangs” in the garden window. Being outside was of great benefit to some of our indoor plants. Unfortunately, the tiny black flies were part of the new and improved plant package.
As far as I can tell, these are not really destructive as far a flies go. The treatment to rid our house of them is fairly simple–spray the plants and soil with a dish detergent and water mix. If that doesn’t work I may have to change the soil but I am hoping that won’t be necessary.
But, oh, how they can be annoying! I can be reading on my Kindle or the Bible with Diane and suddenly this small black dot comes floating into my line of vision. I swat at them but they are pretty quick. Or, I am writing on the computer and I find out these period-sized flies can read. They must be able to because inevitably there is one sitting on the screen.
What I find more annoying, well frightening, are those pet sins that just keep hanging around, buzzing around inside of me. I feel that I am always on the lookout as Peter warns me Be alert. Your adversary, the Devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 (EHV). But when the Devil comes after me like those little black flies and not as a roaring lion, I have trouble spotting them and suddenly I find myself sinning.
An example would be kidding someone about something they said or did. I know they may feel embarrassed by their words or actions, but I say something anyway. I can tell they were hurt by what I said but after all, I justify to myself, I was just kidding.
Or, to make myself look better I embellish something I accomplished, which then becomes what I repeat again and again. Now I am lying.
Or, there is something that needs to get done, which I don’t really want to do. But instead of just doing it or finding someone else to do it, I delay any action. This causes me to become resentful because now this job is hanging over my head and I can even feel some guilt.
Or, when something is not going as I planned, I become impatient with those around me and lash out with impatience or even anger. In our home, the words, “Kick the dog” could be more than just an expression if I am not careful.
I have tried to fight off these temptations by being aware of how easy it is for me to commit them. And sometimes that works–many times it does not. When the spray bottle solution doesn’t work it’s time for me to go to the root of the problem. With my plants the option is to replace the soil so the black flies cannot nest there.
With sins the option has to be to change my heart. My heart–the place from which Jesus says that all sins come. My heart–where there should only be room for Jesus. My heart–where because I am sinful, the Devil still buzzes around, tempting me with those pet sins of mine.
My heart–where each day I need to confess my sins to God and ask for forgiveness. It needs to be fed daily with God’s word to make it more spiritually healthy. And the central motivation needs to be thanksgiving for the loving sacrifice that Jesus made by taking the punishment for all my sins through dying on the cross.
With my heart made clean through forgiveness and strengthened by God’s word, I can better resist the Devil as either a roaring lion or an annoying black fly. Then I can spot those situations in which I am tempted and either avoid them or ask for more strength from my Savior. What a wonderful God! Now if he would just get rid of this annoying little fly on my computer screen.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you can return another time. I will wait you.