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A Friendly Word of Caution

One evening last week the doorbell rang. It was our neighbor. He came over to tell us about a small creature that his wife had seen that day. He showed me a photo of this small creature. One that I have seen in the past, but didn’t know too much about it. The small creature was identified as an “asp,” also known as a “puss caterpillar,” or as most in our State refer to them as “the Texas Asp.” Our neighbor explained that his wife had come across 14 of them just that day. He continued to explain that they are dangerous and found that the neighbor across the street had inadvertently came in contact with one of those fuzzy creatures while doing yard work and she was injected with venomous poison causing extreme swelling and pain which led to an ER visit. Our neighbor wanted us to know of the presence of these dangerous insects, especially so the kids would be aware when they are out playing. With that, I immediately showed the boys a photo that our neighbor had shared of the “asp” and warned them, that although this species of caterpillar is quite fuzzy and inviting to run one’s finger across, I instructed them NOT to.

After sharing the information with the boys, I thought to myself what great neighbors we have been blessed with in our neighborhood. They’re always seeking to help another, and as in this case, to warn about a species that may not seem harmful but is! Our neighbor could have kept this information to himself, but he didn’t. He was genuinely concerned about others coming in contact with this small venomous creature, so he decided to warn others of their presence.

As you all are aware, my mind goes into spiritual application mode. I thought about how nice it was to have someone concerned for the well-being of me and my family to take the time to show of the danger that could possibly be in our own yard. Such made me think about how we as Christians are to be when it comes to the responsibility we have to warn others of the dangers of sin (cf. 1 Cor. 4:14; Col. 1:28,29; 1 Thess. 5:14,15). Sin lurks everywhere, even as God told Cain, that “sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it” (Gen. 4:7b).  Although Eve had heard and acknowledged the warning given to her (Gen. 3:2,3), the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil was just too appealing, as she “saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate” (Gen. 3:6).  Although the fruit seemed appealing, it injected venomous poison to the soul, causing dis-ease, a separation of a healthy relationship with the Lord that was now broken (cf. Gen. 3; Isaiah 59:1,2).

There are many things that we look at today that seem harmless, much like the “asp” that is all fuzzy and inviting to touch, however has brought many down sin-sick, “pierced through with many sorrows” (cf. 1 Tim. 6:10-12). We are exhorted to stay away from sin that lurks all around us (cf. 1 Peter 5:8,9; Eph. 4:27).

Our neighbor warning us of the dangerous little creature was good for us to physically know, but was also a good reminder for us spiritually of the dangerous creature who lurks to harm us spiritually, who although can appear harmless, even as an “angel of light” (cf. 2 Cor. 11:14), he brings death and destruction. 

Our neighbor passed this very valuable information on to me and I passed it on to my family. His desire for us in passing this information on was so it would be well with us. Isn’t that the way it should be spiritually as well?

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:5-9).

Therefore you shall be careful to do as the Lord your God has commanded you; you shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. You shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess” (Deuteronomy 28:32,33).

Although we may know the warnings, just like Eve and the Israelites, we can do just as they did, get as close to that which we are to stay away from, only to flirt with something dangerous and even deadly to our souls.

The Lord still desires for His children (1 Peter 2:9) to recognize the danger that exists, not to flirt with nor engage in conduct of the world that is “enmity with God” (James 4:4) which will overtake us and consume us bringing death. (Romans 6:23)

May we always look to the word of God that shows us what to stay away from and the way we should walk (Matthew 7:13,14), that is for our good, so that “we may live and that it may be well with us”. May we also pass it on to others so it may be well with them also (cf. Heb. 3:12-14; 10:25; 1 Tim. 4:16).

I will be reminding the boys about the “asp” as they go out and play, for I know how such a fuzzy little creature can be so appealing to touch. That same temptation to touch is the same temptation that Adam and Eve would regret for “sin took them further than they wanted to go, kept them longer than they wanted to stay, and cost them more than they wanted to pay.” Let’s be reminded and remind others of such danger (cf. 2 Pet. 1:12; 3:1,2).

Something to think about. Have a great week! – DJ 🙂

About Author

DJ Dickerson

Evangelist | La Porte Church of Christ

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