Thursday, February 26, 2009


A boy was getting ready to go to school. As it was getting late, his mother helped him to put on his shoes. He complained that there was a pricking pain, possibly from a thorn, in a shoe. But the mother sent him in a hurry to catch the bus to school. While in the bus, the boy became ill and fainted. He was rushed to a hospital. He was laid on the table for examination and his shoes were removed. Suddenly, a small snake fell down from one of the shoes. It had repeatedly bit the boy’s foot before it was crushed to death in the shoe. The boy died due to poisoning by its lethal venom.

A forest guard found a tiger cub in the forest. He took it home and looked after it, feeding it on only milk and vegetarian foods, taking care to avoid an exposure to blood or meat. The cub grew up as a mild pet. One day, while cutting his nails, he happened to cut his finger. Blood oozed from the wound and fell on the floor. The cub licked up the blood. The master did not notice this. The taste of blood transformed the cub. A week later, the cub chased a chick, sprang upon it, killed it and ate it. The master saw this change in its nature and was very cautious. Next week, the cub sprang at the master’s child and the cub was promptly shot dead by the watchful guard with his gun.

A lady had finished her bath and wanted to dry her long hair as she was in a hurry to attend a party. She put on a portable electric table-fan and spread her hair before its current of air for drying. But a hair got into the fan and was caught between its blades. Very soon, other hairs were entwined and entangled in the fan and she was violently drawn towards it. She fell down with the fan and died of severe physical and electric shock.

These events show how minor incidents cause massive accidents. The pricking pain felt in the shoe was not examined, killing the boy. The drop of blood changed the mild and silent cub into a wild and violent carnivore. The frail fibre of a hair finally led to a fatal accident.

We often classify sins into minor ( simple, venial) and major (serious, mortal) and ignore the minor sins. But the minor sins tilt our nature towards more serious sins and finally lead to a tragic fall. The leaning tower of Pisa started to tilt as the ground was soft. Minor theft from the simple assets of the Disciples of Jesus {John 12: 6} led the greedy Judas to the final betrayal and a tragic end.

Jesus warns us against even minor temptations to sins {Matthew 18: 8, 9}. Jesus equates a lustful look to a serious sin of adultery {Matthew 5:28}. He advises to avoid even minor causes of temptation which are obstacles to a pure and peaceful life {Matthew 5:29, 30}.

By: Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India.

This is story No.111 in this site. Please click ‘older posts’ at bottom of page to read previous stories.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this story.

Another classic biblical story underscoring the truth of one sin leading into deeper sins is that of Naboth's vineyard in 1 Kings 21, where coveting leads to murder.

God's blessings,