This afternoon as my family and I drove into a car park we laughed at a situation unfolding between a dog and its owner. They had just returned from a walk, and the medium sized dog had in its mouth a stick about 6ft long.
I got out of the van and before walking away joked with the lady about her needing to get a larger car so she could take the dog’s stick home. She explained that her dog would not let go of the stick. In fact, whenever the dog found a stick he had some kind of a fixation with it that meant he would not let go. They had tried pet psychologists and all kinds of tricks. If they set treats before the dog, even a steak, the dog would not let go of the stick. The dog psychologist told them his only recommendation was to lift the stick up high, raising the dog nearly off the ground, making it so uncomfortable for the dog that he would eventually let go.
As I walked away from the situation my thoughts turned to Jeremiah 9:3
[they] weary themselves to commit iniquity.
and Colossians 3:1-2
(1) If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. (2) Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
The dog could not go home until he let go of the stick. He could not rest as long as he held onto the stick. His fixation with something that harmed him prevented him from enjoying something far superior – steak!
Too often Christians get a fixation on some sin. We hold onto it, we weary ourselves committing iniquity and yet we won’t let it go. Like the drunkard who suffers the ill effects of alcohol but returns to it time and again, and the dog returning to its vomit, we go back to our sin.
Most often sinners will not repent and put their faith in God because they fear letting go of their stick, they refuse to see that God offers something far better!
Sometimes, when God sets before us blessings we release our sin and receive the gift of something far superior. Other times God has to use our sin as a tool of chastisement, He makes us sick of our sin until we release it and turn to God’s righteousness.
Are you holding onto some sin? What’s your ‘stick’? Is it anger? Jealousy? Worry? Selfishness? Laziness? Fear? Let it go! Let God bless you!