There is a quaint expression “nip it in the bud.” According to www.EnglishClub.com, it is a metaphorical idiom based on the fact that if you want to stop a plant from growing bigger, you can cut off the new leaf buds or flower buds, or “nip the buds.” It became popular from Henry Chettle’s romance Piers Plainnes Seaven Yeres Prentiship, in 1596. Chettle said it this way, “Extinguish these fond loues with minds labour, and nip thy affections in the bloome, that they may neuer bee of power to budde.” In other words, put a stop to something while it is still in its early development. Snip, snip, snip.
I once noticed a new (not so healthy) habit developing in my life. The month was packed full of FP4H events. Each event was uniquely successful and brought me great joy to be involved. I returned home late in the evening on two occasions, and I made “not so good” choices for a late night snack. It was not out of exhaustion, but exhilaration! I was so excited about the event that I “deserved” to eat something that I did not need and that had way too many calories for my body. I journal my food, and looking back over the last two weeks there were only two days that I did not stay within my dietary boundaries. Those were the two nights I came home late from traveling. I crossed the line into the land of greed and gluttony. I noticed and I nipped it. If I allow these small things to become full blown, I will soon be out of control with eating and I do not want to go there again. The Lord has to get out the pruning shears. Ouch! This is how it happens for me:
- I allow the Lord to speak to me through His Word. Reading God’s Word in my loud time—I no longer call my time with God my quiet time. He is speaking LOUD and clear. My Bible reading was from Psalm 19, and verses 12 and 13 were exactly what I needed. Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression. The Lord pointed out my error and He will help me stop this behavior. Sin does have the power to rule us, if we allow it. God will rescue us.
- I confess to the Lord. I immediately confessed this behavior to the Lord. He is faithful to forgive us. I not only confessed this sin, but I also repented from it. Deciding to turn away from my error and turn to God is true repentance. I am more than sorry, I am resolved to not continue in this pattern.
- I confess to another person. The Bible says in James 5:16, Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. I immediately emailed a good friend and shared what I had discovered about myself and confessed to her. There is great power in getting things out in the open. Brennen Manning says, “We cannot be healed from that which we keep hidden.” I am now confessing this to you also, my beloved friends.
- I establish a new “no longer.” I added this to my list of “no longers” that the Lord helped me establish from Romans 6:12 (GNT). Sin must no longer rule in your mortal bodies, so that you obey the desires of your natural self (emphasis mine). I praise the Lord my list is still growing. That means I am still growing. I no longer reward myself with food, when the Lord has blessed a First Place Event. Writing it out somehow makes it stick for me.
Nipping sin in the bud is not easy. The Father’s pruning shears are sharp. Ouch! They have to be. It is humbling, but so effective. I am not going to wait a minute too long to give Satan a foothold. Let’s be quick to do the next right thing. May it be so for Jesus’ sake. Amen!
Vicki Heath, National Director………………………….firstname.lastname@example.org