Lessons are sometimes difficult to learn. One I learned early was while having breakfast at my grandparent's house. The biscuits were hot, the real butter was near my plate, so I picked up my knife and took a sizable slice of the butter and smeared it on the biscuit. (Making myself hungry here.) After loading the biscuit with the butter I noticed the remnants of butter still on the knife and started to lick it off. The next thing I heard was the unison voices of grandparents and parents saying, "Don't lick the knife!" While that is obviously a good safety measure, the knife in question was the common butter knife which would have done no harm. I was then educated on the habit of licking a safe butter knife could become a worse habit of accidentally licking a sharp knife, thus cutting my tongue.
That reminded me of the story of the Eskimo who was attempting to kill wolves to harvest their pelt, which the Eskimo used to keep warm. He would coat the sharp blade of a knife with animal blood, and allow it to freeze. The he would add layers of animal blood to the knife, allowing each layer to freeze, then secure the handle of the knife in the frozen snow. A wolf would follow the scent of the blade, start licking the layers of blood, and ultimately become so interested in licking, he would not notice he was cutting his own tongue, soon bleeding profusely. The next morning the Eskimo would find the wolf's body laying near the knife.
True or false? I actually googled all that, and found belief in the story is a toss-up. Some believe it could be a successful way to harvest animal pelts in frozen regions, others think the wolf would be too smart to lick on the knife until he was dead.
Switching gears now, just to ask about your plans for the new year. It's only a few weeks into 2017. Is there a desire for you to become a better, more useful person? Are there sins in your life that haven't been addressed? Above all, do not use the new year to allow sin to grow, rather in the season when the year is new, let that be the springboard to get rid of habitual sins. I am sure you know how devastating sin becomes when it grows in us. Our appetite for sin can become like the wolf's appetite for blood. That's when the very thing we are craving proves to be our downfall.
Praise be to God, for giving us another chance. Even when we mess things up and continue to allow our sin to separate us from God, he longs for us to be in a right relationship with him. His love which called us to him in the beginning, calls to us again and again.
Today, let's rise above licking the knife. As appealing as the bait may be, it's not worth it when we allow sin to control us and lead us to destruction. Romans 6 says it like this:
"What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life."