Tag Archives: termites

Termites

A lit­tle while ago, Con­nie and I noticed some stuff that looked like dirt or dust appear­ing on a wall near our refrig­er­a­tor. I assumed it was some pot­ted soil that had fallen out of a hang­ing plant we have above that spot, so I vac­u­umed it up and didn’t give it a sec­ond thought. But then it showed up again the next time I was vac­u­um­ing. The next time, Con­nie was vac­u­um­ing and saw what looked like a white ant. I had seen “white ants” grow­ing up in the woods of Ten­nessee. I sud­denly real­ized we had termites!

Before I knew it, our won­der­ful land­lord had called a pest con­trol spe­cial­ist and he was in our house tak­ing care of busi­ness. He drilled some holes in the con­crete foun­da­tion of our duplex and injected a chem­i­cal that spreads through­out the ter­mite colony and kills them a day or two after they come into con­tact with it.

But here’s the thing, I learned a lot about ter­mites and I think I’ve found the per­fect anal­ogy for what is arguably the worst sin:  pride. C. S. Lewis said of pride, “It was through Pride that the Devil became the Devil; it is the com­plete anti-God state of mind. Pride is essen­tially com­pet­i­tive in a way the other vices are not. Pride is a spir­i­tual can­cer. It is my beset­ting sin.”

One thing I learned about ter­mites is that they are capa­ble of enter­ing your prop­erty through a 1/64 inch hole. How big of a hole is that? It’s about as big as the period at the end of this sen­tence. Pride has the same abil­ity to infil­trate my life through tiny, tiny holes. In fact, I can become proud of spir­i­tual progress! For exam­ple, ear­lier this year a friend of mine both prayed that God would bring us closer to Him no mat­ter what. A few days later we both found out we prayed that prayer on the same day! We were both super encouraged, but after a few weeks we started to talk judg­men­tally about other Chris­tians who “weren’t as devoted” as we were. Before we real­ized it, we had become proud of our devo­tion to God! Pride is incred­i­bly sneaky and will infil­trate your heart in ways you can’t imagine.

Another thing I learned is that ter­mites are often called “silent destroy­ers” because they can be active in your home for years before you see any notice­able signs. Sound famil­iar? Pride is dif­fer­ent from many other sins because it doesn’t man­i­fest itself phys­i­cally. Sex­ual sin, glut­tony, addictions, drunkenness, anger, and a host of other sins can man­i­fest them­selves phys­i­cally. But we can look per­fect on the out­side but be dead inter­nally because of pride (for exam­ple, see Matthew 23:25–28). It may take years for our pride to actu­ally show, and by then it could have already done exten­sive dam­age to our heart, our soul, and all our relationships.

The final fact I’ll share is that ter­mites are very dif­fi­cult to get rid of per­ma­nently. As a mat­ter of fact, in many cases you can never be sure that ter­mites have been fully erad­i­cated and it’s impos­si­ble to guar­an­tee that they’ll never come back. This is why C. S. Lewis referred to pride as his “beset­ting sin,” because it can be nearly impos­si­ble to erad­i­cate fully. When he said “beset­ting sin,” he was refer­ring to Hebrews 12:1in the King James Ver­sion, which chal­lenges Chris­tians to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so eas­ily beset us.” Mod­ern trans­la­tions will say refer to a beset­ting sin as “the sin that so eas­ily entan­gles” or the “sin which clings so closely.” The point is sim­ply that there are cer­tain sins that we will strug­gle with until the day we die. For some, their beset­ting sin is lust, for oth­ers greed, and for C. S. Lewis and many oth­ers it is pride. Iron­i­cally enough, I think we are all plagued with at least one “beset­ting sin” to keep us from becom­ing prideful!

So the next time you won­der why God cre­ated ter­mites, real­ize that God in His infi­nite wis­dom cre­ated them for a pur­pose. I believe He cre­ated them to give us a pic­ture of what pride does to our souls.

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