I work in a lab that does different tests and studies on soil erosion and sediment retention. I love to watch as the products perform the task they were designed to do.
I am on the last test for the second round of a product that, on paper, should have performed very well. Today I watch as it fails even more. The cause came from a very small compromise in the product on the second day. With that it began to collapse on itself growing bigger and bigger as time went by. While the initial compromise in and of itself was very small, allowing it to remain, it grew like a cancer. If we would have stopped the test it would have stopped growing. If we repaired it, it wouldn’t have grown so large. However, we are not allowed to tamper with the product or soil once the test has begun so we just sit and watch as the compromise grows. This failure has two effects; one on the product because it doesn’t pass the test. The second effect is on me because it creates a huge mess that I am required to clean up.
Watching this test, watching this very small hole grow from its hunger for space makes me think of life and our walk with Christ. As a Christ follower, we should never compromise, we should stay the course. Unfortunately that’s not how it always happens. We make mistakes, we make poor choices and sometimes we compromise. Like this erosion test, if our compromises remain unchecked, they will feed on everything else in our life and grow like a cancer.
1 John 1:9 was probably one of the first verses I committed to memory. John tells us that if we confess our sins that God is faithful and will forgive us. Confession is just like if I could stop and repair the compromised spot in the product before it grew.
You see, unlike the test I run here at work, we can stop and correct the problem in our lives. We can stop and make things right before they grow into something so much bigger. That is the amazing thing about the sacrifice and love of Jesus. He knows we are flawed; He knows we are broken. He also knows that while here on earth, in this fleshly body, mistakes will be made. That is the whole purpose of 1 John 1:9. If we continue, without repentance, it will grow and eventually our compromises will consume us. Compromise is deadly.