Little Foxes

We all face enormous obstacles as we journey through life. God tells us not to worry about them because he can level the mountains; therefore, boulders aren't an issue. What will hamper our journey are the pebbles in our shoes — small things that seem insignificant but can end up crippling us.

In the Song of Songs, where two lovers verbalize their love for each other, Solomon writes: "Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom" (Song of Songs 2:15). The love the song celebrates is an analogy of God's love for his people, and the little foxes Solomon warns about are the little things that can jeopardize that love that is blooming. We need to take preventive measures — catch the foxes ­— to protect the love. 

What are the foxes? These are the sins that we often ignore as insignificant but can cause massive damage if unchecked. Typically, sins are of heart, word, and deed. The sins of deed are those actions we commit like violence and sexual immorality. The sins of the heart include pride, jealousy, and lust that can be concealed because they are not immediately apparent. The sins of the word are vulgarity in speech, abuse, gossip, slander, and the like.

All sins are foxes that can cause enormous havoc, but the little ones are the most dangerous. We need to ensure we take protective measures to guard against them entering our lives. Just consider a "little" sin like gossip. We might believe there is nothing wrong with it since everybody does it, but we forget that gossip can damage someone's reputation, livelihood, or personal life beyond repair, not to mention jeopardizing our own salvation. James warns: "Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless" (James 1:26).

Or consider another "little" sin: sexual fantasy. Again, we might believe that this can't hurt anybody because it is limited to the confines of the mind. But as James warns elsewhere: "Each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death" (James 1:14-15). Sexual fantasies rarely remains fantasies; sooner or later, they will demand fulfillment.

So, dear friend, safeguard your relationship with God. Protect the vineyard of your love by ensuring the little foxes are kept out. We will end up keeping the big foxes out as well. 

May the Spirit be with you.

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