Every year before the first snowfall I declare this is the year I’ll keep our front steps clean.
I make grandiose promises. I tell myself:
As soon as it snows, I’ll shovel the steps… several times a day if necessary.
If the snow starts to melt, I’ll make sure to sweep it off.
As soon as there’s an inkling of ice, I’ll chip it away.
I stay on top of the shoveling for the first few days of winter. Then a cold snap hits and I can’t bear the thought of venturing outside. The snow sits for a few hours or until my husband gets home from work.
The thing is, as the snow sits on my front steps, it begins to form into icy patches. The longer snow stays on the step, the faster ice forms.
Once the ice appears, those steps get slippery!
As you know, slippery steps may cause a severe injury (and can even result in death). Okay maybe I’m being a bit dramatic here… but it’s a definite possibility!
The other day as I chipped the ice off of my steps, I thought about how this ice resembles the sin in our lives. If we ignore the sin or dismiss it, it worsens. As the sin festers it becomes deeper and harder to remove.
On top of that, perfection is an impossibility. Despite our best efforts, we will sin. In fact, in the Bible, Jesus tells us that even thinking evil thoughts is sinful (Mark 7: 20-23).
But we’re called to holiness.
So what can we do to take care of this sin? How do we remove that ice from our steps?
CONFESS YOUR SIN
God wants us to tell Him about our sin and thank Him for the forgiveness that only Jesus can offer. Don’t ignore the sin, that will only lead to heartache and despair. Worse yet, if sin is ignored, the heart hardens, which could lead to rebellion and even spiritual death.
DRAW NEAR TO HIM
One of the best ways to become holy is to understand holiness. We need to be in God’s word, reading about Christ’s life, and internalizing God’s great love for us.
Spend time in His word and thank Him for the clear direction that He gives to us.
FOCUS ON THESE 2 COMMANDS
Jesus himself told us we have two commands:
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31 (ESV)
It couldn’t any get clearer! Love God first and love all people.
Jesus called us to love. Without love, we allow sin to get a foothold in our lives.
WHAT IF YOU HAVEN’T ACCEPTED JESUS INTO YOUR LIFE?
You try so hard to keep those steps clear and free of ice but here’s the thing… despite all your efforts the ice will inevitably appear. Just like the steps can’t avoid the winter season, so we can’t avoid sin. We live in a sinful world.
But what if I told you that dealing with this ice actually requires little effort?!
We don’t need to labour and chip away at the ice, it can be dissolved quickly with salt. Sprinkling salt goes to the core of the ice and breaks it down! Even more exciting, salt also provides some leverage. Even if there’s no ice left to dissolve, salt gives you extra grip on those steps. Exciting right?!
If you haven’t yet invited Jesus to forgive your sins, do it.
His forgiveness is the greatest gift and He will season your life with goodness. He is the only remedy… he is the salt to our slippery, icy steps.
If you’ve already accepted Christ into your life, confess your sins. Let the Holy Spirit encourage you as you live out the two commandments Jesus told you to follow.
Don’t let those icy steps get the best of you! Hold on to the power of the salt and walk up those icy steps with confidence.
Unless otherwise indicated, scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.