Everyone who commits sin practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.” 1 John 3:4
Leave it to Barney. Some of you might remember Barney Fife from the old television show, “The Andy Griffith Show.” He was one of the iconic characters and played the town deputy under Sheriff Andy Taylor. Barney was a little off-center most of the time. One of my favorite memories was that they only trusted him with one bullet, and he had to keep it in his pocket. He may have been a bit off-center but every once-on-a-while he would come up with something insightful. One of those was his saying that we should “nip it, nip it in the bud.”
He knew (at least every once in a while) that an ounce of prevention was better than a pound of cure. Now he didn’t always follow his own good advice but who does? Truth is we would all be better off we did, “nip it, nip it in the bud.” The other day I went to the skin doctor for my semi-annual skin check. Twice a year I have them look and make sure something isn’t growing on my skin that shouldn’t be. Some of that skin stuff can get pretty nasty. Like I’ve said before I’m ok with dying…I just don’t want to die stupid.
So usually, I am an A+ patient. Besides the usual assortment of old people stuff, she always tells me I have good skin. Well, that didn’t quite happen this time. As she checked my forehead, she found two spots that were kinda rough and she said, “Dewayne, these might be pre-cancers so it would be best if we burned them off.” So, she wasn’t sure if they were but, in her opinion, it was better to be safe than sorry—and I agreed with her. Let’s “nip it, nip it in the bud”. So, she got out her handy burner-off thing and just like that they were frozen.
“Wait,” you say, “I thought you she was burning them off?” Yup that’s right but she burns them off by hitting them with something so cold it literally burns them off. Ever heard of, “freezer burn?” Same sort of idea. Anyway, it was all over after a little bit of stinging and a few days of everyone asking, “What happened to your forehead?” And guess what? Because we nipped it in the bud, I don’t have to worry about it turning into something a little nastier.
This “nip it, nip it in the bud” thing is good advice. Imagine how many regrets a little nipping could save us! And what about when we nip a “pre-sin” in the bud before it becomes a disaster in our lives? Yup, the more I think about it the more I am sure we owe old Barney a debt of gratitude. So, let me suggest a semi-annual visit to the skin doctor and a daily visit with the Great Physician just to check and see if there needs to be a little nipping on those nasty “pre-sins.” It might sting a little but hey, don’t worry, He’s got this. Bro. Dewayne