After a visit to the wonderful aquarium in Durban recently my daughter returned with such an interesting tale about one of the displays. In order for jellyfish to propagate, their eggs float around in the sea, waiting to land on a rock. Once they have landed the few cells begin to divide and, by God’s great genius, they develop into teeny-weeny mushroom-like organisms on the rock face (able to be seen under a magnifying glass). They continue to develop and right there, secure on the rock, they practice the pulsing movement that we recognise as the jelly fish swimming motion. Once they’ve built up their momentum and strength in their ability they release themselves from the rock, and voila! A new generation of jellyfish is born, just to sting you or I as we paddle in the warm water.
It’s the same with sin in our lives. That which begins almost imperceptibly (the egg), if we give it a ‘welcome mat’ in our lives, will take root. There it will be fed and watered and develop larger and larger in our lives until one day it goes off ‘pop’, and begins to pollute others’ lives.
For example: have you ever been in close proximity to a negative person? Say in a work situation, where you need be in relationship with them, but you know their attitude is not helpful to your own well-being? After a while, you sense your own world-view is becoming increasingly negative, and before long you find it hard to find anything to be positive about. Soon those who know you well will be concerned, or you may begin affecting their mind-sets too.
The ‘egg’ of the work colleague has implanted on to your own soul (mind, will and emotions), and has taken root. As it is fed and watered by the colleague’s continued attitude so it will flourish and grow, until the cycle is perpetuated. We allow ourselves to become negative too, and so impact our world around us.
This can happen so easily – news reports bringing fear and causing us to be fearful. Relatives with ‘an axe to grind’ will – out of their own hurts and wounding allow anger to drive them. Soon we too have allowed the anger ‘egg’ to settle and take root, and before long we explode with rage at an incident.
How does one prevent this cycle from establishing? Well, for starters, we need to identify the ‘eggs’ floating out there. Ask Holy Spirit what is affecting our attitudes negatively. Then, don’t come into ungodly agreement with the ‘eggs’. Ungodly agreement gives the enemy a right to take a foothold in our lives. ‘Draw near to God (submit to Him), resist the devil and he will flee from you’ (James 4:7).
‘Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived dear brothers’ (James 1:14-16).
Ask Holy Spirit to strengthen you in the Word, so that you may stand against the wiles of the enemy. Renew your mind with what God thinks about the fear, anger, negativity. Resolve to be the salt and light in the situation. To make a difference a light is not put under a bucket. So we too, need to let our light shine so that all men may see and give thanks to the Father (Matthew 5:16).
Prayer: Father God, please help me to be discerning as I go through my days and to guard my heart as it is indeed the well-spring of life. Today I choose life, not death, light not darkness, hope not despair. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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