Little Billy had his hand stuck in an expensive vase. His mother tried her best to pull the hand out but she finally had to resort to breaking the vase. Once it was broken, she saw that Billy had had his fist balled up the whole time. When she asked him why, he answered, “Because if I had opened my hand, I would have dropped my penny.”
Many a person is right now holding on to some “penny” of sin. Even when clutching the sin begins to complicate their life, they won’t let go of the sin. Even when clutching it gets monetarily expensive, as in breaking an expensive vase, they still won’t let go. Maybe the sin is drugs. Maybe it is alcoholism. Perhaps it is adultery or looking at pornography on the internet. Sometimes it’s greed, pride, or covetousness. The list of “pennies” can seem endless.
And please understand that the problem of “penny” clutching doesn’t just affect lost people. A lot of Christians are out there playing the role of little Billy too. I don’t know that repentance has ever made for popular preaching, but its popularity is certainly at a low ebb today. Many preachers today major on words such as acceptance, tolerance, mercy, patience, and love. Certainly these are Biblical themes. But we must be careful that our preaching doesn’t become so mush and gush that we downplay repentance into oblivion. You see, fists must always be released and pennies of sin must always be dropped.
So, I ask you, what’s that in your hand right now? Is it your personal penny of sin? Well, little Billy, you’re going to have to let go of it (repent of it) before God will help you get your hand out of that vase in which it’s caught. Don’t bother waiting on Him to break the vase for you. That’s not how He deals with sin. He’ll gladly set you free from your entrapment, but He won’t do it just so you can continue running along, having a death grip on your penny. But why hold on to the sin anyway? After all, isn’t it what has you in trouble anyway?