Have you ever given any thought to just how a worm gets into an apple?
Maybe, like me, you have assumed that worms eat their way into an apple from the outside. Or maybe, you have just been content with the fact that you haven't found yourself staring at only half a worm after taking a big chomp. ;)
In either case, you might be surprised to learn that not all worms come in from the outside. Rather, there is a species of fruit fly* that pierces an apple with a stinger and inserts what will later hatch into a worm. Then, the worm finding itself inside the apple, will eat its way through the apple to the outside. I know- weird.
I was using this illustration this week as I discussed the idea with our girls that sin comes from inside of us.
Although we must choose our friends carefully, it is not our friends that make us sin. And while we seek to keep ourselves away from temptation, it is not outside pressure that creates in us the desire to disobey God. That sin is already there- we were stung with it a long time ago.
So how do we respond when we are confronted with our sin?
Certainly we should all be on guard, judging ourselves so we do not need to be judged. But because of the very deceitful nature of sin there will be times when we are blind to our own sins and will need to be confronted by one of our brothers or sisters in the Lord.
How will we respond?
We know how David responded when Nathan confronted him with sin:
"I have sinned against the LORD."
~2 Samuel 12:13
Will we choose to respond like David or will we turn on the person who has come to us, saying things like "You know, you didn't correct me in the right way" or "You just don't understand me- I have a lot of pressure in my life!"
Like David, we surround ourselves with good and godly saints. People we admire and love. So why is it when one of these good and godly people come to us we are so quick to turn on them?
Well, it's not because of something on the outside. It's because of something in us.
One of my closest friends shared with me the premise of a book she recently read. It was about an author who began to consider how his life would be different if he were to think of it in terms of a book he was writing.
He began to process this idea and consider what he would want to change and how he would like his story to read in hindsight.
Isn't that an incredibly inspiring idea?
Maybe your 'act 1' was filled with pain. But what about 'act 2?' Would you like the story to read that you forgave those who had hurt you and that your pain taught you to be gracious and kind to others? That by diligent study of God's Word you were transformed in a new person? And how will 'act 2' position you to live 'act 3?' Will the choices you make today position you toward freedom or bondage? Toward helping others or toward needing to be helped?
I think we need to remember that we don't despise David for his failings- and we don't excuse him because of his circumstances. But we do rejoice in seeing his repentance and his merciful heart toward others!
Your wormy friend,
* The Apple Maggot (Rhagoletis pomonella) uses its sharp ovipositor to pierce the skin of apples and insert its eggs. The female may live for a month and lay 300 eggs during that time. The damage is at first only a pinprick, but the scars from these stings distort the shape of the apple as it grows, often leaving it lumpy and unattractive. On light-skinned fruits the skin is sometimes blemished from the presence of the tracks made by the maggots inside. Bagging the fruit prevents the fly from laying its eggs.
Find the apple and worm illustration and many others in the book, With Children on Sundays. I have to modify the lessons for our family, but the thoughts are good ones and helpful in discussing issues of character and conscience.