What You Don’t Know Can Harm You

A small area of warped flooring caught my eye after we moved furniture for construction work a year and a half ago. Since my living room backed up to our master shower, I feared another leak. A small poke behind the sheet rock revealed wet insulation. Our workers ripped off the drywall and exposed a four-foot by five-foot wet area laced with black mold—toxic mold, as I’d soon learn.

download-1Photo by: Coley Christine

After the discovery, the workers left for the weekend. I asked if it were safe of us to stay in the house. “Oh, yeah, you’ll be fine. We’ll be back on Monday,” they assured me. They were wrong.

I’ve since learned that black mold is toxic. Its spores spread like dandelion seeds through air vents and inside our bodies. Once in our bodies it grows and attacks cells and organs.

It took a while before the spores began to manifest themselves in bizarre and seemingly unrelated symptoms. Before long, everything—including healthy smoothies and contact with anyone wearing scents, including everyday hair products, dryer sheets, and lotions, irritated my breathing. I was afraid to be with people. Brain fog, chronic coughing, and lack of energy became my MO.

download-2Photo by: Jason Long

If I’d known better, we would have evacuated.

My experience with black mold reminds me of the danger of sin. Because we often don’t see its detrimental effect until after it’s taken root, we think we are getting away with tolerating it. “We’ll be careful,” we promise ourselves. “A short time can’t hurt.”

Take a lesson from black mold and these biblical warnings:

  • “Take to heart all the words of warning I have given you today. Pass them on as a command to your children so they will obey every word of these instructions. These instructions are not empty words—they are your life! By obeying them you will enjoy a long life…” (Deut. 32:46-47 NLT).
  • “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” (1 Cor. 10:12-13 NIV).

While mold spores harm our bodies, sin injures our souls. It is far better to guard ourselves from sin than to fight its deadly consequences.

Thankfully, I’m better, but my experience with toxic mold taught me we’re all vulnerable. Green smoothies weren’t enough to ward off its dangers. Reading our Bibles and attending church aren’t enough to protect us from sin either. Every day we must guard our hearts by fleeing temptation and pursuing righteousness.

The inconvenience and expense of leaving home would have been minor compared to the time and money spent rebuilding my health. Flee the black mold of sin. Believe me, it’s not worth the risk.

Click here to comment. And if you found this useful, please share it with a friend.

Blessings,

Debbie W. Wilson

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Ann

    I know this was a very expensive lesson in so many ways – but thank you for applying your experience to sin and sharing your wisdom with us. That was a truly perfect analogy.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Ann.

  2. Pam

    Hi Debbie!
    What a great illustration! I will be sure to remember this because I have a number of allergies for which I take immunotherapy and one of the big ones for me is mold! Your illustration fits well in my current Lenten reflection time I wrote about last week as an offshoot of the sentence I heard from our pastor on Ash Wednesday (PEAS Are Green and Little) related to sin!
    I hope you are having a blessed day and are aware of God’s blessings as you seek to share with all of us what He shares with you!
    Love,
    Pam

    • Debbie Wilson

      Pam, I’ll look for your article. Thanks so much, my friend.

      • Pam

        It was posted last Friday under the title Pause and Consider

        • Debbie Wilson

          Thanks, Pam.

  3. Karen Del Tatto

    Debbie, Oh my! I’m glad you are okay.

    I loved how you connected that experience with sin. Great analogy!

    Temptation is so insidious. We become desensitized while the cost to us is growing greater and greater.

    Indeed, we need to flee from sin.

    Thank you for spurring us on.

  4. Debbie Wilson

    Karen, you said it well, “we become desensitized while the cost to us is growing greater and greater.” Thanks so much.

  5. Will

    Debbie –

    Great illustration. I think it also applies to leadership. Often, we see some warning signs or red flags but may take awhile to deal with issues.

    Then the issues grow and fester (often unseen by the leader), and it does more damage to wait than it does to deal with the issue and the ensuing fallout.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Will, that is a great application. Potentially harmful issues should not be ignored in any area. Thanks so much.

    • Liz

      Will… You nailed an issue I’m having right now. I wanted to be “nice” last June and it’s coming back to bite me now…

      • Debbie Wilson

        Oh, Liz, Don’t you hate it when that happens? But God promises to work even our messes together for the good of those who love Him. Bless you.

  6. Mary Flaherty

    My goodness, that’s a little scary. But thank God you had the foresight to poke further. The black mold of sin…great analogy.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thanks, Mary.

  7. Liz

    Great analogy! The consequences of overlooking a little problem can eventually become catastrophic.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Yes, Liz. It reminds me of the saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

  8. Beth

    Wow! What a powerful metaphor, Debbie! I’m so sorry that you had to go through that but it really does paint a very pungent picture of the destructiveness of sin–often starting out small and unnoticed and then wreaking havoc as it grows and grows in our lives. I do hope you’ve fully recovered physically from that and am grateful for the way you’ve turned it into a cautionary tale for all of us, my friend!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Beth. Writing is one way to redeem the bad experiences of life!

  9. Crystal Storms

    Debbie, I’m glad you’ve recovered and learned a powerful lesson through your experience. We falsely believe we can dip our toe in the ocean waves and not get splashed by the tide. But as your illustration shows, guarding our hearts takes diligence. Thank you for such a powerful parallel, friend. : )

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Crystal!

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