Just a Little Catfish Fin

It was the summer between first grade and second grade. I spent most of my time back in those summer days with my buddies at the creek near my house. We spent our time catching crawfish on most hot summer days. On that day, one of my buddies found a dead catfish. We thought it would be useful to lure crawdads from their holes. There was a neighborhood girl with us that day which was highly unusual. We waded down the creek in a single file line. The girl was in the back of the line, and she kept splashing as she walked. My buddy in the front of the line kept telling her to stop. She didn’t stop. He finally got so mad that he turned and threw that dead catfish at her. I happened to be standing between them. As the catfish sailed by me, its fin hit me right in the kneecap. It stuck me hard and broke off in my knee. I ended up going to the doctor for 2 weeks as they tried to get that fin out of my knee. They gave me shots in the knee every time I went there. I kept getting sicker and sicker as that small fin began to poison my body. Finally, they had to do surgery to remove that broken catfish fin from my knee. They put it in a jar for me. It was just a small piece of the fin. I remember looking at it and thinking, “How could something so small almost kill me?”

It is a question that men should think about. Small things can kill you. Small sins can destroy your life unless you do something to rid your life of them. We often comfort ourselves by thinking that our sins are not that dangerous or deadly. We know the “big sins” are deadly. Things like murder and adultery. But we tolerate things that we consider smaller because they are hidden. Things like hatred and lust. We even use the word “little” to describe some sins as in “little white lies.” 1 Corinthians 5:6 askes, “Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?” If you are baking bread, leaven makes it rise. It doesn’t take much. Just a little bit will spread throughout the whole loaf and make it rise. Sin is like leaven. It only takes a small amount to spread throughout your whole life. Christian brothers, I challenge you to take a close look at your life. Are you tolerating what you consider “small sins” in your life? Make no mistake; those small sins can totally wreck your life. They can poison your marriage and your relationship with your children. You need to get on the operating table and ask the Great Physician to remove even those small sins. Their power to destroy is great. His power to forgive is greater. You can’t keep ignoring it. Take it from me and my knee; small things can be a very big deal. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9).

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