After a long day at school, I was ready to get home, throw on some old sweatpants, and relax. When I opened my bedroom door, however, I was greeted with a nasty surprise: I had left my window open and my room was now infested with insects all trying to escape the Georgia summer heat.
Flying roaches, angry wasps, even a big, fuzzy spider—every creepy crawler you can imagine, swarming all over my stuff.
Totally grossed out, I was running around the room with a fly swatter and an extra-large can of Raid, trying to exterminate all the bugs, when I spotted one out of the corner of my eye.
I inched towards it stealthily, ever-so-slowly raised my arm, pulled back my swatter for the big smack, and froze.
It was a cute little ladybug. I couldn’t kill her!
The nasty-looking roaches and spiders had to go. I couldn’t even stand to look at them. But ladybugs are pretty. And surely sparing just this one wouldn’t do any harm, right? I decided to let her be, focusing my attention on eradicating just the ugly bugs.
A few weeks later, my room was full of ladybugs.
The tiny little polka-dot critter I thought was so cute was no longer cute when she was accompanied by a thousand of her friends, all packed into every crack of my room and leaking that yellow ladybug-juice. Ew.
I wished I’d just squashed that first ladybug when I had the chance.
OK, so maybe you’ve never made my mistake and let insects overtake your house. But have you ever believed the lie that you can work on squashing your “ugly” sins and just let the “pretty” ones be?
It’s easy to want to eliminate your ugly sins, the nasty-looking ones that are disliked by pretty much everybody, Christian or not. These are things like
- Lying to your friends
- Stealing from the mall
- Cheating on your boyfriend
- Killing someone
But what about the sins that the world sees as pretty?
The cute little polka-dot ones that are going to make you more popular, earn you more likes on Instagram, or get you a date to homecoming? Sins like:
- Posting an inappropriate or seductive selfie
- Gossiping about someone because confronting the other gossipers would be awkward
- Dressing for the express purpose of drawing a guy’s attention to your body in a sexual way
- Bragging or joking about impurity because you know your friends will laugh
- Watching a show or listening to music you’ve been personally convicted not to view or listen to because you want to stay caught up on what everyone is talking about
Do any of these “pretty sins” sound familiar? If so, sisters, you’re not alone.
I’m guilty of the whole list, plus many more, and I can tell you firsthand that these “cute” little sins multiply really fast.
When the whole world is telling you that what you’re doing is cute, good, or empowering, it can be easy to forget that the standard for our lives is the Word, not the world.
Even King Saul fell into this trap.
In 1 Samuel, Chapter 15, God commands Saul to attack the Amalekites and destroy all traces of the people, including all the property and livestock. When Saul’s forces overtake the city, however, he decides to spare “the best of the sheep and of the oxen and of the fattened calves and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them. All that was despised and worthless they devoted to destruction” (1 Samuel 15:9, ESV).
He and his men eliminate the ugly stuff and keep the good, nice-looking stuff for Israel’s use—even though God told them to destroy it all. Because of Saul’s partial obedience, the Lord rejects him as king.
God doesn’t want partial obedience when it comes to hating the sin in our own lives.
Ephesians 5:3 says that “sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints” (ESV). Matthew 18:8 tells us that “if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut if off and throw it away” (ESV). Because He loves us and desires our best, God wants us to get serious about sin.
Sisters, instead of turning a blind eye to the pretty little ladybugs of sin in our lives, let us encourage one another to call the great Exterminator, asking Him to clean up our hearts until they are pure, new, and unrecognizable.
Which “pretty sins” have you ignored in the past?
Did those sins catch up with you eventually? How?
How can you be proactive about obeying God fully in this area, not just partially?
Let us know in the comments below!
Guest Author: Jessie Fanczi