The tree started as a seedling on the slopes of the Colorado Rockies some 500 years ago.
For centuries it had stood tall, enduring violent winds, lightning strikes, blizzards, even
avalanches. Now, however, the once-towering tree is just a mound of decaying wood on the ground.
What caused its demise? A horde of beetles had attacked it, gnawing away until that skyscraper of nature surrendered to those tiny pests and toppled over.
That's also the tragic story of many Christians. For long years they stood tall for God. They resisted temptations, weathered crises, and were bold in the strength divinely
provided. But little sins began to eat away at their lives--little compromises with greed
or lust, sins that gradually eroded their character. And suddenly they fell. --Taken from
Our Daily Bread.
Song of Solomon 2:15 states, "Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil
What in the world was Solomon trying to tell us about these little foxes? In the book, In Heavenly Places, page 226, we read: "It is the little foxes that spoil the vines; the little neglects, the little deficiencies, the little dishonesties, the little departures from principle, that blind the soul and separate it from God.
Many years ago a vessel was wrecked off the Irish coast. Because the captain and
his crew were noted for their seamanship, the maritime authorities were puzzled for a
while as to the cause of the disaster. So much interest was attached to this sinking
that at last the officials sent a diver down to investigate.
He seemed unable to find anything wrong with the vessel, so at last he was
instructed to bring up certain portions of the ship. Among these was the binnacle, or
compass box. It was then that the mystery was solved. A sliver of steel was found lodged
in a crevice close to the needle. Further investigation revealed that the day before the
ship went down a sailor had been detailed to clean the binnacle. He had used his knife to
clean some of the tight spots and in the process had broken the tip off his blade. This bit
of steel had deflected the needle just enough to cause the compass to give a false reading.
When the ship entered a treacherous channel it must travel to reach port it struck a reef
Cherished sin is like that sliver of knife blade. It is not always the big sins
that cause spiritual shipwreck. Little sins not overcome can be just as deadly;
Little foxes can spoil the vineyard of the soul just as surely as can the big ones. --From a devotional book.
"Ye that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much; and
he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much." Luke 16:10.
"It is the little things of life that develop the spirit and determine the
character. Those who neglect the little things will not be prepared to endure severe tests
when they are brought to bear upon them." In Heavenly Places, page 226.
We are all familiar with the story of Daniel and his three companions in the courts
of King Nebuchadnezzar. They were faced with a dilemma concerning something we sometimes
consider as trivial--diet. Should they partake of the king's meat or should they continue
with their normal diet of pulse? They were determined and purposed in their hearts to banish
from their diet everything that would defile.
Had Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego eaten the king's meats and delicacies and
violated their conscience, would they have stood firm and loyal to the God of Heaven when they
were tested to bow down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar had erected?
No, they sure wouldn't, would they?
"Those who have yielded step by step to worldly demands and conformed to worldly
customs will then yield to the powers that be, rather than subject themselves to derision,
insult, threatened imprisonment, and death."
Prophets and Kings, page 188.
More good counsels to heed are:
"Those who do not overcome in little things will
have no moral power to withstand greater temptations."
"The children of God should cultivate a keen sensitiveness to sin. Here,
as well as elsewhere, we should not despise the day of small things. It is one of Satan's most
successful devices, to lead men to the commission of little sins, to blind the mind to the
danger of little indulgences, little digressions from the plainly stated requirements of God."
"Many who would shrink with horror from some great
transgression, are led to look upon sin in little matters as of trifling consequence. But
these little sins eat out the life of godliness in the soul. The feet which enter upon a
path diverging from the right way are tending toward the broad road that ends in death.
When once a retrograde movement begins, no one can tell where it may end."
What about our dealings with one another? When pecuniary gain or loss is involved, is it okay to be not so truthful and honest? A good counsel to heed concerning this important matter is: "The Bible condemns in the strongest terms all falsehood, false dealing, and dishonesty. Right and wrong are plainly stated. ...God's people have placed themselves on
the enemy's ground; they have yielded to his temptations and followed his devices until their sensibilities have become fearfully blunted. A slight deviation from truth, a little variation from the requirements of God, is thought to be, after all, not so very sinful when pecuniary gain or loss is involved. But sin is sin, whether committed by the possessor of millions or
by the beggar in the streets."
The Bible tells us to abstain from all appearances of evil. Common sins,
however insignificant they may be regarded, will impair our moral senses, and extinguish
the inward impression of the Spirit of God. They separate us from God.
"It is by faithfulness in little things that we become trustworthy sentinels.
Guard carefully against the little irritations, not allowing them to harass your soul, and you
will gain many victories. And when greater troubles come you will be prepared to resist the
enemy manfully and nobly...Each soul inherits certain unChristlike traits of character. It is
the grand and noble work of a lifetime to keep under control these tendencies to wrong. It is
the little things that cross our path that are likely to cause us to lose our power of
self-control." In Heavenly Places, page 231.
More heavenly admonitions follow:
"God's work is perfect as a whole because it is perfect in every part, however minute. He fashions the tiny spear of grass with as much care as He would
exercise in making a world. If we desire to be perfect, even as our Father in heaven is perfect,
we must be faithful in doing little things. That which is worth doing at all is worth doing
well. Whatever your work may be, do it faithfully. Speak the truth in regard to the smallest
matters. Each day do loving deeds and speak cheerful words. Scatter smiles along the pathway
of life. As you work in this way, God will place His approval on you, and Christ will one day
say to you, 'Well done, thou good and faithful servant.'"
"Faithfulness and integrity in little things, the performance of little duties and little deeds of kindness, will cheer and gladden the pathway of life; and when our work on earth is ended, every one of the little duties performed with fidelity will be treasured as a precious gem before God."
"Let a living faith run like threads of gold through the performance of even the smallest duties. Then all the daily work will promote Christian growth. There will be a continual looking unto Jesus. Love for Him will give vital force to everything that is undertaken. Thus through the right use of our talents, we may link ourselves by a golden
chain to the higher world. This is true sanctification, for sanctification consists in the
cheerful performance of daily duties in perfect obedience to the will of God."
"The Son of God came down to earth that in Him men and women might have a representation
of the perfect characters which alone God could accept. Through the grace of Christ every
provision has been made for the salvation of the human family. It is possible for every
transaction entered into by those who claim to be Christians to be as pure as were the deeds
of Christ. And the soul who accepts the virtues of Christ's character and appropriates the
merits of His life is as precious in the sight of God as was His own beloved Son."
And finally, "A well-balanced character is formed by single acts well performed. This is depicted in the following poem from the Youth Messenger entitled, "The Little Things".
May the Lord help us to heed the heavenly admonitions contained herein. Through His grace, we can put away the little compromises with greed, lusts, the little white lies, the
little pride, and all the little beetles of sins that eat away at our lives and gradually erode
our characters that we fall just like the once towering tree, who for centuries had stood tall,
enduring violent winds, lightning strikes, blizzards and avalanches, but now had become only a
mound of decaying wood on the ground.