A Little Bit Is A Powerful Amount
Read Ecclesiastes Chapter 10
Ecc 10:1 As dead flies give perfume a bad smell, so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor. 2 The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left. 3 Even as he walks along the road, the fool lacks sense and shows everyone how stupid he is.
Oh, I don’t like this passage! It hits too close to home, accurately describing what happens during those moments when I choose to sin. I’m going to assume that all of us can identify with this picture, so the next part of this will be written from the standpoint of “we,” not “me.” I want some company along for the ride.
For the most of the time, we are in our right minds. We have a lot of wisdom at times. When we are thinking clearly and wisely, there are certain things we know which can help us avoid making wrong decisions. For example, we know that the danger of disease is a deterrent. None of would willingly do any same-sex act if we knew the act was going to result in our contracting a STD. None of us would willingly commit a same-sex act if we knew the act would result in the loss of our family, job, cherished friendships, our church fellowship, etc. When we think of these things, we are exhibiting a great amount of wisdom.
But then along comes “a little folly,” and you know what happens next. All the reasons wisdom gives us to avoid our same-sex actions suddenly vanish in light of the little folly that begins to grow in our minds. Suddenly, we believe the risk is worth the effort. Suddenly, we believe ourselves to be invincible. “Nothing bad is going to happen. We won’t contract a disease just this one time. Our family and friends will never know what we’ve done.”
The writer of Ecclesiastes, who more than likely was Solomon, hit the nail on the head. It only takes a tiny amount of folly to outweigh all the wisdom we have accumulated over the course of our lives. Just as dead flies give perfume a bad smell, our goodness and purity will be hidden and overcome by our propensity to sin. Okay, back to the “me” thing. I clearly remember the last time I made a major mistake in judgment in regard to same-sex attractions. After the deed was over and done, I asked myself, “How could I have been so stupid!?” Well, this passage answers that question. That tiny little amount of folly overshadowed the vast amount of wisdom I had accumulated over the course of my lifetime.
Now the question comes, “Knowing all this, how can we prevent this scenario from happening again?” I’m not sure there is a definitive answer, but will offer a few suggestions.
- Let’s remember this verse. Maybe, just maybe, it will give us the opportunity to rethink what we are considering doing. Perhaps it will be used by the Holy Spirit to bring us to our senses and turn us away from the temptation.
- We must increase the power of our wisdom. That comes through a devotion to God’s word, diligence in prayer, and a willingness to be held accountable by our accountability partner.
- Remember those times in the past when we were feeling the shame, regret, and despair of our transgressions. If we can get those moments firmly implanted within our minds, there at least remains some chance that we will decide to avoid a recurrence of the mistake.
- Stay close to God. Remain so close to Him that we can imagine Him physically standing right by our side, 24/7.
- Avoid being in situations where we know temptation will be present. We may think now, “I can handle it, I can resist,” but once we are in the situation, we have no guarantee that our wisdom will be able to withstand that tiny amount of folly which appears in our minds.
As I stated before, I’m not sure that there is a definitive answer, the one which will help us to permanently divert all future same-sex actions. But every time we study a lesson like this one, our chances increase. Every godly thought we implant within our minds will increase the amount of our wisdom. Surely, somewhere along the way, we will have enough wisdom to offset that tiny little bit of folly which has tripped us up so often in the past.
Prayer: Oh, Lord, how have You put up with our folly so long? We cannot fathom that amount of love and patience being bestowed upon such a senseless lot. Yet, You still care for us, and continue to lead us away from our propensity to sin. Thank You. Please continue to fill us with Your Spirit, and work on our stubborn hearts.