This tale, told by the great English Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, is woven around the experience of an unnamed Scottish man, a proud national who loved the marvelous and glorious symbol of his homeland, the thistle plant. After communicating with a close acquaintance who lived in Australia, this proud Scot thought to himself, ‘What a shame that the great island of Australia, the homeland my friend, is void of this beautiful plant.‘ In an attempt to share his beloved plant, the Scot gathered a small packet of thistle seed and sent it via cargo ship to his friend, so that the man could sow those seeds and enjoy the beautiful Scottish plant. When the packet arrived at the Australian dock, the officers in charge could have restricted the plant from entry, but instead mused among themselves, ‘O, let it in, is it not a little one?‘ The seeds were sown and before long, thistle covered whole districts of Australia, proving to be a pest and a plague to local farmers. Spurgeon’s conclusion on the matter: ‘Like all other little things, there is a marvelous power of multiplication in little sins…Take heed of the thistle seed.‘
If I’m not careful and constantly on guard, I find myself defending the little sins, after all, is it not better to bear quiet bitterness against someone than to physically harm them, to tell a small lie to avoid offenses, or to postpone my prayer time because I’m just too busy in God’s service today? By human standards, some sins may seem less offensive, less obvious, not as consequential. But in the eyes of holy God, all sin deserves death, a debt that must be paid either by the sinner, or by Christ on the cross.
Just as an invading army will gain a foothold in enemy territory by first sending in a small, elite platoon, Satan uses the same tactic with God’s children. The roots of our spiritual demise may not begin on a steep cliff, but on a gentle slope, a gradual slipping away, predicated by those small, seemingly insignificant, lapses in obedience. And once Satan has that foothold, finds that one crack in our armor, there will be a ‘marvelous power of multiplication,’ drawing us farther and farther away from our God. Soon that thistle plant will overrun our lives.
God’s Word encourages us to “search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD.” Self-examination, the purging of “the old leaven,” is essential to our continued spiritual growth, open communication with our Father, and unimpeded fellowship with our God. Take heed of the thistle seed! Root it out, confess it, and forsake it before it overgrows your garden of fellowship with the Lord.
I Corinthians 5:6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
Lord, there are no small sins in the perfect eyes of a holy God. Remind me daily to be aware of those seemingly small sins that will hinder my fellowship with You.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-1719-6513c5d1e7b81' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=1719&origin=grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-1719-6513c5d1e7b81' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-1719-6513c5d1e7b81' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>