“Don’t open that envelope on the counter. It has bugs in it.” My mom casually stated as she stirred her coffee.

“I’m sorry, what?”

My mom and I had been noticing little bugs around the house lately and the fact that they could fly only made matters worse. She had collected some -dead- samples to show the apartment complex manager. Upon showing her the collection inside the paper envelope, she simply answered, “Yeah, those are termites.” Oh okay, cool, thanks…

We came back home and inspected the walls, bathroom cabinets, and every piece of furniture to see if there was any kind of sign of these creatures that had invaded our home.
That night when I laid in bed (after checking the bed sheets really carefully) I began to think about how much damage these tiny critters might have caused without us even knowing they were around! Termites could eat up your wood floors from the inside out and you won’t know until you are knee-deep through what used to be your flooring. I then had a thought:

Having termites in your house without knowing is like the toxic things in our lives that hinder our relationship with God.

Whether you grew up going to church or became a believer at the age of 35, it happens just as equally…
“There’s nothing wrong with going out to the club with my friends.”
“My friends might doing bad things but I’m not so it’s okay.”
“My boyfriend and I don’t need to set boundaries.”
“Drinking really isn’t a big deal.”
“It’s just a song/movie/show.”

Let’s stop that train right there, thank you.

I know I’ve already probably offended some of you, but do try and understand. We are told to be transformed; to be different. How do we stand out by doing all the same things that we were doing before we became Christians?
If you watched Fifty Shades of Grey on Saturday night and went to church on Sunday singing praises, then there is definitely something wrong here.

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having any righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith-” -Philippians 3:8-9

What does this mean? Paul is basically saying that he would surrender everything in his life like it was trash if only to know Jesus. Are we really that motivated to give up some of the things we love most, even if they are things that displease him?

Beloved sister of mine, every single thing that you watch, that you hear, that you see, that you speak, it IS important. It is these very things that are eating away at our relationship with Jesus. We tend not to notice the termites in our life until the floor gives way and we have no idea how we got to the place that we are in. And when that floor gives in, it costs a lot to repair it.

Get rid of the problem before it begins!
Obviously, life is not perfect and a new issue will arise before we know it but so many of the struggles that entangle us can be so easily stopped by doing the following:

  • Stop visiting the places you know you shouldn’t. If you know that hitting up that party is going to make you re-live your B.C. era then maybe you should skip out and find something else to do that night.
  • Cut out friends that are not lifting you up or building you up. I had to cut off my best friend of 13 years because our lives were just not compatible anymore. I love her to death and it was hard, but if you want to grow you need to find the sunlight.
  • Set boundaries!!! I don’t mean to scream at you, but really. No matter how mature you are or how anything you and your boyfriend are, boundaries are so important in a relationship. Set those limits.
  • Drinking. Ah, drinking. Yes, I understand that Jesus turned water into wine. However, there is a difference between having a drink and being drunk. Drunkenness is a big no-no. On that note, if you know that you struggle with self-control in this area, avoid it! Flavored water is a thing.
  • You can argue all you want that the music you listen to doesn’t affect you but can you honestly tell me that you haven’t accidentally said that one curse word in line 7 at least once? Gossip Girl is just a show, yes, but I personally had to stop watching it because it was polluting both my mind and my heart. Whatever you are thinking about right now: kiss it goodbye and don’t go back.

Crowned Beauty, I can assure you of nothing else except that Jesus is far greater than anything else you have in this life, so get rid of your termites and get right with Jesus.