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Beware the Gnats  

Out at the camper, we inherited somebody else's deck. 

With the help of a lot of friends—and a John Deere tractor—we managed to move two 8x8 foot wooden sections to our site.  The repurposed deck then got a thorough power-washing.  The next step was…a step.  Actually, we needed to build three sets of steps.

Like most "morning" projects, the construction of those steps turned out to be an all-day affair.  So I measured, sawed, and fastened, all the while vaguely aware of a cloud of gnats swirling and swarming.

After taking a much-needed shower and changing into some comfortable clothes, I took a look in the mirror.  More than 24 bites encircled my neck (yup, I counted).  They grew red and slightly swollen—but didn't itch too severely.   Looking back, it struck me as odd that I had worked the entire day with only a vague sense of their presence.  That said, their bite marks were anything but vague. Amazing the damage a nearly invisible insect can inflict.

But isn't it also true of you and me that we cause the most damage to our treasured relationships—with small things?  Am I the only one with a history of hurting loved ones with small grunts of ingratitude, tiny criticisms, snippets of cynicism?

Haven't you found it true that you can often avoid the "big sins," but you cause great trouble with the small stuff—the gnats of life?  Ecclesiastes 10:1 says, "Dead flies make the perfumer's ointment give off a stench."  And James 3:6 points out that tiny tongue of yours is "a fire, a world of unrighteousness."

We Christian folks have a history of warning our kind about the big sins of life.  But I'm not sure we've adequately estimated the damage caused by "smaller sins." As they say, nobody ever woke up and decided to ruin their life—or someone else's.  But it happens.  A bit at a time.  A bite at a time.

Beware the gnats.

 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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Jon Gauger Media 2016