I sometimes think it is the nibbling things that will do me in, do us all in. What do I mean by nibbling things? I am talking about little things here or there that we ignore or accept as ‘not so bad’. I can easily think of dozens of examples. Of course eating comes to mind and that old ad that says, “I bet you can’t eat just one!” For me that would be one cashew or peanut when a full dish sits on the table. Aren’t they supposed to be eaten by the handful just like popcorn (my other favorite snack)?
There are thoughts that nibble away at the truth inside us as well. It can be as small as a friend who doesn’t return a phone call or fails to remember a birthday. A stray nibbling begins—‘I wonder if she really likes me’, ‘I thought she cared about me’, etc.
All the ploys have one overarching purpose—to deceive us. Deception is Satan’s trademark and he is truly gifted at it as we see all the way back in the Garden. The problem is that we too often miss his subtle devices today since he really doesn’t show up as a serpent while we are out admiring the apples on our trees in the orchard.
Back in that other garden he created a doubt in Eve’s mind and then deceived her into over-riding what she knew she should do. He does that with you and me as well, but it doesn’t stop with one bite of an apple (or cashew). His ultimate goal is to get us to tolerate sin within us little by little in small ways. Sin seduces us into tolerating it or sinking into despair.
The result? We become self-deceived and that sets us up to be able to do things that have escalating levels of sin and a conscience that gradually falls asleep and never gets bothered by what we are doing.
No, it doesn’t happen all at once nor to all of us to the same degree, but when we do not or will not face the truth of what we choose we open ourselves to a pattern of self-deception that automatically leads to deceiving others (sometimes without even having an awareness).
Isaiah 50: 2 warns us about the path we can find ourselves on:
“Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter!” ESV
How do we get caught in the trap Satan sets for us? In many ways deception acts like a narcotic because it numbs us and prevents us from feeling the pain we do not want to feel. It helps us justify the choices we make. We’re late so we speed. We’re stressed so we eat chocolate. We need copy paper for our printer at home so we take some from the office. Our spouse hasn’t been showing us much attention so we flirt just a little with the neighbor.
It can be a bit like the story of the frog in the kettle. The kettle is on the stove, but the fire is not lit so the frog jumps in. While enjoying the water, the fire gets lit and soon the frog cannot get out. The frog did not believe he was at risk to be hurt or die until it is too late.
We can start to believe what we have rationalized as being okay won’t hurt us either. Now Satan has us where he wants us. We are deceived, lying to others and ourselves about our choices. Over time our heart gets hardened so we no longer recognize or repent of our poor or sinful choices.
Too often from the very beginning, no one holds us accountable. If we are blessed with someone who loves us enough to hold us accountable early on, we will regain our footing on the solid rock of Jesus.
God meant for us to be in community one with another. We don’t see ourselves accurately many times and when we have someone who walks with us on life’s journey extending us love, grace, and mercy PLUS accountability, we improve our vision significantly and repentance becomes a habit so that our heart doesn’t harden and our soul doesn’t die. That person helps us see the small thing long before it grows into the dragon that intends on devouring us.
12 thoughts on “Such A Small Thing, But How It Blinds”
Thanks for linking this truth at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com!
Pam, this is SO true! Oh, how easy it can be to numb ourselves to the “little things”, until we are no longer able to sense the leading and direction of the Holy Spirit. Thank you for this important reminder to hold ourselves accountable to one another to help us gain greater victory in Christ!
I do have the tendency to run to chocolate from time to time! And see the times that I have fallen into deception and used justification to console myself. What a trap it is though, chaining me instead of breeding the fruits God has for each of us. And I love how you mention having someone hold us accountable to our actions is a key too, to staying out of deception and in freedom through Christ.
I hear you, my friend! Thanks so much! Blessings on your day!
What a great reminder of how easily we can be deceived, and how we can make serious mistakes when we react to “perceived” information! It reminds me to maintain a discipline of self-reflection and to have accountability partners in life. Great post!
Your neighbor at Journeys in Grace,
Thanks so much, Linda! It is something that we all need, I think. Peace and blessings, Pam
Pam, Thanks for this extremely edifying post!
I liked how you built up the case of how little things can hurt us by starting out with examples such as food, but then showing us how the deceitfulness of sin starts out as “nibbles” as well.
Great insights for keeping our eyes WIDE OPEN to the wiles of the Devil, and to recognize when we are deceiving ourselves and others.
Thanks so much, Karen, for your encouragement and gracious words! Love and blessings, Pam
I like the way you call them “nibbling things.” That fits perfectly! It always starts with just a little taste and then suddenly all the chocolate’s been eaten. Thank you so much for sharing this post with us at Encouraging Word Wednesday!
I’m glad you liked my choice of words. When those came to me, I felt they truly described the reality. Blessings on your day and thanks for your encouraging words!!
Hi Pam! That quote from Ben Franklin just dropped me in my tracks. I had to read it twice. Wow. Just wow.
You points about the small things rings so true. I think the ‘big things’ we can see for the lies they are. The small stuff? Too easy to give in, or agree with, thinking it’s not ‘that bad.’ But then, where does it all stop? Bit by bit it changes us, just like that poor frog in the water.
Lots to think about today here. But then, there always is. I love the way you write.
Thanks, my friend! It also reminds me of the verse about little foxes spoiling the vines…. Your affirmation of my writing humbles and blesses me. Thanks so much for letting me know.