Google any recipe for bread, and, more than likely, it will include yeast.
Known as a leavening agent, yeast makes bread rise. Any baker knows this powerful ingredient must be used carefully since it takes only a little to affect a whole batch of dough. The yeast causes a reaction in the dough, causing it to weaken and rise. This rising secretly spreads to the entire lump of dough and creates a change or reaction.
Just as yeast causes a loaf of bread to rise uncontrollably, a little sin can control our lives, homes, marriages, or attitudes when we are not careful.
Your boasting about this is terrible. Don’t you realize that this sin is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old “yeast” … Then you will be like a fresh batch of dough made without yeast, which is what you really are. Christ our Passover Lamb has been sacrificed for us.~1 Corinthians 5:6-7 NLT
Paul’s admonishment to the Corinthians is one of my favorite reminders of sin’s effects when it is left unchecked. We cannot be careless about how we navigate life. Our environment impacts our actions more than we may realize.
During the Passover feast, the captive Jews in Egypt were delivered from death by applying blood from a lamb to their doorframes. After they applied the blood, the Jewish families ate their Passover supper. One of the requirements was that no yeast (leaven) could be found anywhere in their dwellings, so they swept their homes. The yeast represented change and sin.
And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.~Romans 7:18-19 NLT
We war with our sinful nature, doing what we don’t want to do and desiring a sinless life, but watching this lofty goal evade us. Often, we can pinpoint the leavening agents that infiltrate our lives, causing areas to grow that should not. It is easy to get caught up in the moment when we allow these little habits to control us.
I have been there. I have complained when I had to wait too long in a line or hold too long on the phone. My complaining about one difficulty led to complaining about something else. I have allowed my sour attitude to direct my thoughts. When my wife and I disagree, I have been stubborn instead of humble.
Although we don’t see the leaven, we can see the effects as it permeates the dough. When we allow even small sins into our lives, they can become willful sins, so we must nip them early on. We must not compromise with sin but stay alert so that we do not fall into sins that Christ wants to free us from.
The Lord has delivered us from our past sins as the Jews demonstrated by sweeping their dwellings of yeast. They got rid of the old to make room for the new: the good life in Christ.
Sometimes, we must do an inventory to see what we need to throw out. Lousy thinking, negative attitudes, anxious thoughts. Bringing a dab of sin into our homes can cause a lot of pain.
Sin not only affects our relationships with family, friends, and Christ, but it also affects our witness.
Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. … So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.~Romans 7:24b, 8:1-2 NLT
Paul invited the Corinthians to take an introspective look at where they needed to change. He then advised them to live in the Spirit so they could control this annoying leaven of sin. To see the little that keeps us from growing requires an honest assessment and yielding to God’s Spirit. We must purge what’s needed for the true blessing of Christ to manifest itself.
What is the little dab of sin that hinders you from advancing in your relationships? Will you yield it to Jesus?
Lord, help me to trust Your process of change. Allow me to recognize the hindrances that plague me so that I may grow in You. Please help me to purge those areas that take me back to the old ways of living. Let me realize that I need more of You and less of myself. Teach me how to recognize and remove the sin that so easily besets me so that I can be the person You have called me to be. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Copyright 2021: Just a Little Dab Will Do: Charles Maldon: All Rights Reserved