Crying Over Spilt Sin

Yesterday morning, I left the house at 7.10 to catch the bus to work. I expected a milk bottle to be on the doorstep which I would bring in before my commute. I found the bottle on its side, knocked over, with most of the milk spilt over the flags. I looked around. Who would have done this? Feckless youths? Not at that early hour. A careless milkman? Hardly. A vengeful neighbour? A tad petty. I soon found the offender as I attempted to open my gate: a hedgehog. He was stuck behind it, and I had to cajole him backwards to allow myself out. On my return, the milk was dried and the hedgehog gone, stealing milk and slugs from others’ thresholds.

I was glad that he apparently got away safely. I reflected that spilt milk was not worth crying over, and that my spiney friend might have needed the drink more than I. I looked up the hedgehog’s diet and discovered that they are lactose intolerant. If he knocked over my milk deliberately or accidentally, and licked up the result, he will have done himself some harm.

The closer we get to Jesus, the less tolerant we become of sin. It makes us unwell, it makes uncomfortable, it makes us sick. Before we followed Him, we barely noticed it, were certainly untroubled by it, indeed, we revelled in it. Hedgehogs are not to drink milk, and believers are not to sin. Yet thank God for John’s second clause in 1 John 2:1:

My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. (NKJV)

May we recoil from sin the closer we draw to Him who is so pure, righteous and holy. May we neither spill its sour milk, nor lap it up. Praise God, though: there is grace enough in heaven to cover it, and we have a most excellent Advocate to plead our cause.