In the Scottish highlands is an old bridge that spans a wild cataract. Its structure is so massive and it rises  high above the gorge that it is known as “The High Bridge”. But something happened that made it necessary for officials to condemn it. A tiny birch seed caught by a gust of wind dropped into a small crevice above the keystone. It lodged unnoticed in the lime and before long it germinated. Soon it was a young sapling but still nobody saw it. As it grew into a tree, its roots went deep into the mortar. Eventually it began to loosen and crack the masonry so that the arch was severely damaged. The bridge that had defied violent storms and supported the weight of marching armies finally had to be closed to traffic. It had succumbed to a small seed.

So too in the Christian life, one little hidden sin can weaken the foundation of a person’s character and be the cause of his downfall. David sensed this and cried out, “Cleanse Thou me from secret faults”. Such a prayer does not open the door to morbid introspection. Rather, it expresses a desire that the soul searching work of God’s convicting power will reveal to us our spiritual defects. To ask for less is to run the risk of allowing some evil, though it is ever so small, to take root in our hearts. Soon the seed becomes a sapling and the sapling becomes a full-grown tree, dislodging the spiritual masonry of our lives.

Recognizing that our iniquities and secret sins are all known by God (Psalm 90:8) let us daily seek His cleansing. No sin is small. It is against an infinite God and may have consequences immeasurable. No grain of sand is small in the mechanism of a watch. If you find yourself loving any pleasure above prayer, any book better than the Bible, any house more than the house of God, any table better than the Lord’s or any person more than Jesus Christ, Take heed!

A boy walked across the United States. At the end of his escapade, newspaper reporters were there to publicize such a spectacular event. One person asked him what gave him the most difficulty. The rivers – ‘No, I always managed to find a bridge or a shallow place to wade across”, “The need of shelter?” “No, I could always find shelter”, “What then gave you the most difficulty?”, “The sand in my shoes.” The so called little hidden sins can often be the greatest problems.

The trouble with a small sin is that it produces great trouble.