Most people I know (me included) underestimate the seriousness of sin. “Sin isn’t that bad, and besides, I don’t sin that much.” We fail to recognize that God is holy and therefore any sin is an offense against him. Since he is infinitely holy any sin (no matter how little) is infinitely offensive.
The Thirsty Man
A man had been out in the hot sun working all day. He repaired roads and the asphalt made it even hotter. He still had an hour left to work, but had run out of water hours ago. Fortunately there was a shop near the road he was repairing. He decided to go in and ask for a drink.
“Hello!” said the shopkeeper. “What a hot day. How can I help you?”
“Could I get some water?” asked the man who was covered with sweat.
“Certainly,” responded the shopkeeper. He took a small coffee cup (it was all he had on the counter) and poured in some cool water. Strangely, however, after filling the cup with water, the man noticed that the shopkeeper also put in a drop of poison. The man knew that this poison was so deadly that even in the smallest most diluted amounts it would kill an human.
“Here you go,” the shopkeeper said as he handed the man the cup. But the man refused to drink it.
“No problem,” said the shopkeeper who then ran in back and brought out a larger glass. He poured the water from the cup into the glass and then filled the rest of the glass with more cool refreshing water. Again, he said, “Here you go,” and held out the glass. And again the man refused to drink it.
“No problem,” said the shopkeeper. This time he took a large bucket that had been hanging on the wall and poured the water from the glass into the bucket. He then filled the rest of the bucket with more cool refreshing water. “Here you go.”
A third time the man refused to drink it. Finally he walked out of the shop even thirstier than when he walked in.
Would You Drink It?
The man refused to drink the water because he knew there was poison. It didn’t matter that there was more water than poison or that the shopkeeper kept adding more and more water to it. The poison was still there. Would you drink it?
Often we think that by doing more good works we can get rid of our sin. The problem is that even if we have a bucket full of good works, we still have the drop of sin. And for those of us who are honest with ourselves and the dark thoughts and desires of our hearts, the more accurate picture would be a bucket full of poison with a drop of water.
The water won’t be good to drink unless the poison is actually removed. Therein lies the great question of life: How do we get rid of the poison?