Man sitting and taking rock out of hiking boot

Have you ever been hiking and get a pebble in your boot? If you’re like me, at first, I’m annoyed, because I don’t want to stop and unlace my boot, so I try to ignore it. I may even hike for awhile with that pebble digging into my insole. But now I notice I’m limping and ignoring that pebble is no longer an option. So, reluctantly, I stop, unlace my boot, pull it off and empty it. I’m often amazed at how tiny that pebble is that caused me so much discomfort.

Sin is like that in our life. There may be some niggling sin in our life that is annoying, but we try to ignore it and keep going. The sin may be a wandering eye, anger behind the wheel, an unreconciled relationship, bitterness toward someone, or some dumb habit. 

In our minds we may view our “pebble” of a sin to be minor and insignificant, but the longer we tolerate it, the more damage it does. This also reveals some misconceptions about our sin. We tend to view sin’s weightiness in terms of comparison. “I’m better than most.” Or, “I’m not as bad as people who do that….”  But we must come to grips with the fact that Jesus died for ALL sin, even that little “pebble” of a sin I’m carrying around with me. To recognize and acknowledge this can be life changing. 

If what I’m talking about resonates with you, it’s time to stop, unlace your boot and empty it. Get that “pebble” out of your life. How do you do this?

  1. First, go after it proactively. Confess it to the Lord and tell Him you want His help in getting rid of it. Read and follow 1 John 1:9. I can’t emphasize enough how vital it is that we lean into the Lord in this regard and rely on His strength (John 15:5). You cannot beat the flesh by attacking it in the flesh (or in your own strength). You’ll find yourself frustrated and inadequate to the task.
  2. Second, share your resolve with a spiritual partner—another man, who is a follower of Jesus—someone you trust. Be transparent and honest with him. And ask him to pray with you and hold you accountable.
  3. Third, if possible, replace that sin—whatever it is—with a Christlike attitude or action. For instance, if that niggling sin in your life is anger, ask the Lord to give you patience, humility, and kindness in its place. 

Sometimes that “pebble” sin in our life is a past hurt that we’ve inflicted on someone. In that case, go to that individual and ask them to forgive you. But do so in humility and genuineness. Even the smallest of sins can greatly hinder our walk with the Lord. 

Scripture Reading: Colossians 3:5-14

Personal Application: Perhaps in the reading of this devotional the Lord has brought some niggling sin to your mind. Follow the actions above to rid yourself of this annoying, hindering sin.




Jim and Wendell signatures Jim Grassi, D. Min. and Wendell Morton

We cherish any verse in Scripture that reminds us to keep focused and intentional about evangelism and discipleship. “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5