It seems that the closer I walk and abide with Jesus, the more I recognize my weaknesses and deficiencies.
For the last two weeks, I have been investigating the cause of groundwater pollution originating at a grain elevator facility and determining the extent of damage. I was struck by the parallels between the deterioration of our natural resources as a result of a hidden leak from a tank, and the impact that hidden sin in our hearts can have on our sense of being and on others around us.
“Pollution takes place when we do things our way, refuse God’s lordship, and see ourselves as the ones in control,” says Philip Carlson in Love Written in Stone. I agree, but as an environmental scientist, I have witnessed that many causes of pollution occur due to neglect or inattentiveness rather than out-right rebellion. In this case, the tank and associated piping had unknowingly leaked slowly over a long period of time. Now, over 25 years after its removal, the effects have become evident and far-reaching.
Some pollution in the heart is immediately evident – explosive anger or the need to control things. But there are the slow leaks that are not so obvious – the critical thoughts or the negative self- talk. Perhaps the pollution occurs as a result of neglect (not consciously abiding in Him), inattentiveness (too busy to notice), or not taking preventative measures (taking every thought captive for Christ).
The impact may not be immediately noticeable but could have long-term far-reaching effects. I may not realize that these things impact anyone besides me, but over years of practice, they will affect my relationships and how I project myself.
When the Holy Spirit reveals the hidden sin in my heart with its invisible leaks, I am learning to lean on His grace instead of wallowing in guilt, allowing the leaks to become an opportunity for transformation. Every discovery reminds me that I am always in need of the cross and enables me to cherish the cross even more.