Little by Little

By Hardeman Nichols

I passed by a field where the huge tractors and bulldozers were working. A nice crop was out in the middle of that field ready to be harvested; but the machines were cleaning out the corners and fences that had grown up in trees and brush. Along those fences, no longer visible, were thickets that were now growing almost fifty feet out into the field. It was not difficult to deduce what had happened. Little by little, someone had given over to the thorns and brush, and it had taken only a few short years for them to grow into tall timber which had taken over a large portion of that field.

How much we need that lesson! If we do not give proper care, Satan will begin to move in on us little by little. He makes his encroachments slowly, and we neglect to see them as real dangers. Judas stole from the treasury of the disciples; and later he could not resist selling our Lord for the price of a slave.

The person who takes “a little drink now and then” never intends to become a problem drinker and never thinks it is possible that such drinking will lead little by little to one’s becoming an alcoholic. But from whence do alcoholics come? No one ever planned to become one! They are gradually entangled until they find themselves enslaved. “At the last,” says Solomon about such a danger as alcohol, “it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder” (Prov. 23:31-32). Better to leave it totally alone and not even to look at it, says that scripture.

Back to the field. That farmer was having to spend an awesome amount of money and time and effort to do now what could have been done so easily when the thicket was only a sprouting edge. The Bible teaches us likewise: “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip” (Heb. 2:1).

Whatever the costs, when it is our own soul and we have given in to sin’s invasive powers, it is worth everything to root up and clean out evils that have moved in. And this work of repentance should not be done little by little gradually. Do it totally now.