Why Dead Bats Matter to Christians
Have you checked the production information on your bagged salad yet? Most people have since hearing the troubling story of a dead bat some consumers found in their salad. In this case, the term “consumer” should be taken literally. That’s right. Two poor people actually consumed a portion of their bagged salad before they discovered the decomposed bat.
If you are reading this devotion during a meal I apologize for this disgusting topic. I merely wish to point out the far-reaching impact this event has had on the company that produces the bagged salad and the retailers who sell it. Every bag with a “best if sold by” date of April 14th and with the production number G089B19 (in case you have a personal concern), has been removed from store shelves. Customers who purchased a salad involved in the recall should discard it immediately and contact the company for a refund.
Why should anyone be concerned about so many bagged salads when the dead bat was found in just one bag?
The Center for Disease Control says there probably is no reason to be concerned. But, just in case a small piece of the bat found its way into another bag, it is better to be safe than sorry. You see, sometimes when dead animals decompose…
Oh, never mind. Let’s move on.
Jesus once talked about how a decomposing bat can contaminate an entire batch of salad. Ok, so maybe it wasn’t quite like that. He didn’t mention anything about a bat. Or a salad. But He did say, “Watch out for the leaven of the Pharisees.” (Mark 8:15) What did He mean?
Yeast is a single cell fungi we use in the baking process, most commonly to cause dough to rise through the release of carbon dioxide gas. It doesn’t take a lot of yeast to do the job.
The Apostle Paul used yeast as a metaphor for a number of evil practices, including false teaching, malice and wickedness (Galatians 5:9, 1 Corinthians 5:8), all beginning with small amounts of bad influence.
The yeast of the Pharisees, referenced by Jesus, focused on hypocrisy and legalism. These two are frequently found together when religious people burden others with unrealistic rules which they cleverly circumvent in their own lives.
Thus, both the Lord and the Apostle warn us about the impact of embracing small amounts of the wrong thing in our lives. One dead bat can lead to a total recall! We should be aware of any foothold Satan secures in our hearts or minds that has the potential of growing into something bigger. Certainly false teaching, malice, wickedness, hypocrisy and legalism are on the list. But other destructive practices are as well.
We should flee from all sin, but if we sense we are nurturing something in our lives with the potential of growing into something bigger, it is best to deal with the problem while it is small. Doing so takes a good amount of humility and strength, but God has promised us He will show us a way of escape.
It is better to be able to look back on the eradication of a sin and say, “I’m glad we parted ways,” than to have regrets over what might have been.
If we ignore an evil influence in our lives, thinking it will never amount to anything serious, we could go…