Little Sins


Stones

Stones (Photo credit: rkramer62)

Two sinners visited a holy man and asked his advice. “We have done wrong,” they said, “and our conscience is troubled. What must we do to be forgiven?”

“Tell me of your wrongdoing, my sons,” said the old man.

The first man said, “I have committed a great and grievous sin.”

The second man said, “I have done some small things, nothing much to worry about.”

“All right,” said the saint. “Go and bring me a stone for each sin.”

The first man came back with a big boulder. The second man cheerfully brought a bag of small stones.

“Now,” said the old man, “go and put them all back where you found them.”

The first man lifted the rock and staggered back to the place where he had gotten it. The second man could not remember where half the stones belonged to, so he just gave up. It was too much like work.

“Sins are like these stones,” said the old man. “If a man commits a great sin, it is like a heavy stone on his conscience. But with true sorrow it is removed completely. But the man who is constantly committing small sins which he knows to be wrong, gets hardened to them and feels no sorrow. So he remains a sinner.

“So you see,  my sons,” concluded the old saint, “it is as important to avoid little sins as well as the big ones.”

— Tony Castle

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” (Acts 3 : 19)

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Don’t Pick Up the Snake


Even today Red Indian boys go away into solitude to prepare for manhood. One such youth decided to test himself against a tall mountain. He threw his blanket over his shoulder and set off to climb the peak. When he reached the top, he stood on the rim of the world. His heart swelled with pride. Then he heard a rustle at his feet, and looking down, he saw a rattlesnake. Before he could move, the snake spoke, “I’m starving and freezing to death up here. Put me under your shirt and take me down to the valley.”

“No,” said the youth. “I have been warned about you rattlesnakes. If I pick you up, you will bite me, and your bite will kill me.”

“No way!” said the snake. “I will treat you differently. If you do me this favor, you will be special. I will not harm you.”

The youth resisted for a while, but that was a very persuasive snake with beautiful markings. So he picked up the snake and tucked it under his shirt. When they were back down in the valley, he took the snake out of his shirt and gently laid it on the grass. Then suddenly it coiled, rattled and sprang, biting the boy on the leg. “But you promised,” he cried.

“You knew what I was when you picked me up,” answered the snake as he slithered away.            – Iron Eyes Cody

Are there some things in your life – thoughts, habits, practices, vices – that you know are sinful but you’re so tempted to do them anyway? Those are the snakes in your life. The snake in this story represents sin. It comes to us in a deceiving manner, appearing all innocent and promising not to hurt us. It makes us believe that it will treat us differently, that we will not end up having the same fate as others before us who have fallen in the same lie.

As the rattlesnake said at the end of the story, “You knew what I was when you picked me up” – the same thing as we know a sin when we see one. It’s just that sometimes, we convince ourselves otherwise, or we let ourselves be blinded by the sugarcoating. But a sin is a sin, and sooner or later, it will come back to bite us and make us pay.

The bible says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

When you’re tempted to sin, think of the boy who picked up the snake…

 

Atonement


Everybody makes mistakes. That’s a fact of life. But what happens when that seemingly “innocent” mistake of yours drastically changes the fate of the people around you and there’s no easy way of making amends? How do you own up to what you’ve done? How do you rebuild the broken relationships? And most importantly, how do you ask forgiveness from the ones you’ve wronged?
One hot summer’s day in 1935, young and impressionable Briony Tallis looks out her bedroom window and witnesses a moment’s flirtation between her older sister Cecilia, and the servant’s son, Robbie Turner. Misgivings and doubts begin to harbor in Briony’s mind, which further escalate and worsen when she reads Robbie’s letter that is intended for Cecilia’s eyes only. Then a terrible crime is committed, and Briony, overflowing with a sense of righteousness and over protectiveness for her sister, testifies and points to Robbie as the perpetrator. This act sets a chain of events that would shatter years of their lives.
Properly entitled “Atonement”, this book takes us mainly through a conscience’s journey to make amends for one mistake that has severed relationships, destroyed a family, and tormented innocent souls.
This book is like a conscience that nags you with two profound questions: How far would you go for atonement? And if you’re the person on the other side of the fence, how much can you forgive?