Tuesday, April 19, 2011

40 Days of Lint, Day Thirty-Six: Multiplying Like Rabbits

Years ago, my youth pastor used to lead us on “squeegee hunts.” He knew how to get us involved in the storyline. He began with a: slap, clap, slap, clap. We recognized the familiar beginning and immediately joined in for our favorite game. "Goin’ on a squeegee hunt," he said, and we echoed each line. “I'm not afraid...got my gun...got my flashlight...” On it went through the woods, the swamp, the grass. Then the big surprise when we found the squeegee and made a run for it back through each obstacle till we found our way home. It always ended in shrieks and laughter. There's just something exciting about a hunt, even when you know it's an imaginary one.

Maybe that's why every year before the Passover, Jewish families take their children on a hunt through the house to rid it of any yeast they might find. Mom usually hides a few crumbs here and there in order to make the expedition successful. And with a dramatic flourish, the father could “save the day” by whipping out a broom and dustpan to sweep away the offending yeast. You see, every Jewish home has to be free of yeast for the yearly celebration commemorating the escape from Egypt. The Israelites had to eat bread without yeast, because there wasn't time to wait for the dough to rise; they had to be ready to run.

In His teaching, Jesus used yeast as a symbol for sin and false teaching. He wanted His followers to guard against these things and stop them from spreading. It only takes a little to infect an entire community. Just like the old commercial said, "a little dab’ll do ya.” 

“Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” [His disciples] understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees” (Matthew 16:6 and 12).

Apostle Paul used this same analogy to warn the church in Corinth, “Your boasting is not good. Don't you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch - as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Corinthians 5:6-8).

Just like yeast can grow and affect the entire batch, lint bunnies will multiply if we don’t clear them out regularly. Today, Jesus wants to take us on a hunt through our spiritual house, to see if any bunnies need to be cleaned up. These not-so-cute bunnies include false beliefs, wrong teaching, boasting, arrogance, complaining, a critical attitude, and many others. If left unchecked, they can take over our homes and churches and spill over into the entire community. That's why it's a good idea to do regular search and destroy missions.

Self-help reading can be one dangerous area. I have one book that's been very helpful to me in the issues we face with loved ones involved in drug abuse. But I have to be careful. Every once in a while the author presents an idea that's unbiblical. It sounds solid at first, until I compare it to the Word of God. Then I realize the author has veered from truth into psycho-babble. Those dust bunnies must be cleared from my “house” before they hop into my heart and begin to multiply.

Are you ready for an expedition? Are there bunnies in your house that Jesus wants to sweep away? You may not end in gales of laughter, but you will certainly be better for it.

Lint Removed: Yeast-like Bunnies

Cleaning Process: Making a Clean Sweep

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