I eat lots of apples. One of my favorites is Honeycrisp. Recently, my sweet Christy bought a whole bag. I grabbed one the other day and put it on my desk to enjoy later. One weird thing I noticed was the apple I took had two stickers. Double prizes! But, other than that I didn’t think much of it…until I later tried removing the stickers. It was then that I figured out why this apple had two stickers. Behind one of the spurious stickers was a gross, rotted-out hole. It ruined my appetite. The fraudulent fruit is now sitting on my desk in a somewhat mocking posture. Every time I look at it, it disgusts me.
How did we get here? At some point, for whatever reason, Apple Inspector #3283 at the Michigan apple company, saw a small blemish on this apple. He picked it up and examined it. And, instead of throwing it out, he made a choice which would later ruin my day…or at least ruin my snack. He sneakily stuck a second sticker on it and sent it down the line.
Why did He choose to abuse his apple-inspecting authority? I’m curious what was going through his head. What brought him to that point in his life? And did he ever imagine that his attempted coverup would be exposed in a church bulletin article for hundreds to see??
You may think I’m overanalyzing this. Perhaps, but then you don’t have to write a bulletin article, do you?
Let not your hearts be troubled. Despite losing an afternoon snack, we can still learn good lessons from my bad apple. Here’s an important one, one I wish Inspector #3283 would have learned sooner: Problems never solve themselves. You can run from them, ignore them, or even cover them up, but a problem only gets worse until it gets addressed.
Have a problem or predicament in your life? Deal with it quickly. Pray about it and then get to work. Have the difficult conversation. Make the call. Go ahead and apologize. Write the check. Repent. And if you really messed up, then fess up and move forward. Deal with your sin by coming to Jesus. Do whatever you have to do today to address the problem.
Jesus said “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.” If you’re bearing bad fruit, perhaps one reason is that you’re not dealing with your problems. We can ignore problems, but they won’t improve on their own; they will grow into spiritual rot.
So, learn a lesson from Inspector #3283: Problems do not magically take care of themselves; they only get worse. Left unattended, sins only grow. So, step up, take responsibility, and deal directly with the problems you face head on. The best thing we can do is to deal with them quickly before they spoil the whole bunch.