Jon Michael Ogletree
Feeding A Roach
I’m not afraid of many things, but even a tiny mouthless snake will make me run as fast as I can. If I was to find one in my house, I would highly consider moving to Ireland just to be safe. It’s so interesting to talk to people to see what their greatest fear is. I’ve found that an astonishing number of people are deathly afraid of roaches. I don’t particularly like roaches, but they don’t really scare me. My germophobia is triggered when I kill one, but that’s about it.
I never cook, so my kitchen is nearly spotless all the time. One day though, I found a roach near my kitchen sink, so I called the pest control company. When the guy came out to spray, I didn’t realize how little I knew about roaches. He said that it’s a common misconception that roaches are drawn to food, and as long as there are crumbs, you’ll attract roaches. He proceeded to spout out of a fact that nearly made me pass out. He said that a roach can survive for an entire month from the oils in a single thumbprint! That is so disturbing on so many levels. Think of all of the thumbprints, and think of how many thousands of generations of roach families could live off of them. One of the unexpected things about writing a book has been how situations like these quickly turn into a chapter.
When he said this, I immediately thought about the sin in my life. I have similar misconceptions that I believe. It’s easy to think that as long as we avoid the major pitfalls in life, the enemy can’t get a grip on our lives. That couldn’t be further from the truth though. A tiny thumbprint sin might as well be a feast for the enemy. The worst part is that I’m not even aware that it’s happening. How long has the enemy been feasting on these seemingly small sins? Jesus has some harsh words about these sins in Matthew 5:30, “And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away…” I simply don’t operate my life like this. I seem to pat myself on the back as long as I have the crumbs picked up.
Rather than living a life that provides a feast for the enemy, with Jesus it’s possible to cut off the food supply. Some things cannot literally be cut off, but nearly everything can be starved. If we starve these sins, we’re cleaning up even the thumbprints. Practically speaking, one of the biggest thumbprint cleaners we have is prayer. Recently I’ve had the blessing and joy of getting close to some guys who pray with and for me regularly.
Christian fellowship is such a powerful and effective weapon, and it’s a welcome addition to my arsenal. The more vulnerable we are with our close brothers and sisters the better. Pinpointing ground zero and then fighting it with the power Christ gives us is the most effective way to combat the sin that still so easily entangles us. Jesus is in the business of placing the perfect people along our path to fight alongside us. When two or more are cleaning thumbprints, it’s amazing what all can be cleaned up, starved, and cut off.
Be encouraged, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with us!