Guest Author: Marci Ramirez

I have been so blessed by the vivid pictures Solomon paints of complex life problems and situations. One such picture can be found in Ecclesiastes 10:1,

Dead flies putrefy the perfumer’s ointment, and cause it to give off a foul odor; so does a little folly to one respected for wisdom and honor.

This verse sounds abstract at first…really though, how does perfume and dead bugs have anything to do with us in 2017? In light of this new year, it has everything to do with striving to thrive, rather than just surviving.

Picture this! Can you see the three or four motionless and floating flies in a disappointed Perfumer’s former masterpiece? When putting this verse into perspective, it doesn’t really make sense for just a few flies to ruin an entire bottle of perfume, does it? Well in a way no, but in reality, we see this every day in our own lives.

We are plagued by swarms of tiny flies each day. They buzz thousands of thoughts into our heads…

“Just think, wouldn’t it be cool if…?”
“Doesn’t that look fun?”
“Why don’t you just try that?”

Each fly presents an idea that we haven’t fully explored yet. They peak our interest and then buzz away leaving us with wonder and the freedom to find out more if we want to.

Each fly leaves you with two choices:

swat or settle.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 encourages us to take every thought captive for the purpose of transforming our minds into being obedient to Christ. Does that sound easy?

Every thought being captive…that’s a lot of work. Is it worth the energy, time, and effort?

Let’s think back to the Perfumer… Can you see the exasperation on the face of the perfumer after spending countless wasted hours perfecting the precious perfume only to have a horrible stench greet him the following day? All of his work was done solely for fragrance, but instead, his mixture reeks of decay and rottenness. At the end of the day, the perfume isn’t meant to benefit itself. It was made for others to see how skilled and unique the Perfumer is.

What would our Perfumer think when coming to check on us? Are we settling more than we are swatting? Are those little flies nobody knows about giving off a foul odor and grieving our Lord? There are some ways to know for sure!

This verse gives us a self-applying scratch and sniff! There are ways to find out what the Lord smells in your life’s perfume. The challenge presented is to look outside of your friend group, away from the people who know you well.

How do the littles around you treat you?
How about the little old ladies in your meetings?
Is your reputation one characterized by wisdom and honor?

Our lives can be a worshipful fragrance to Him, but we need to consciously will to work at keeping the flies away. Listen to His Word daily and ask Him to help you often. He is our greatest ally and friend!

One thought on “SWAT or SETTLE

  1. Marci, thank you for sharing what the Lord has been teaching you! Love the idea of doing a “scratch and sniff” test on our lives to determine whether we are settling more than swatting. Praying 2017 will be a year of intentional, active, God-honoring thoughts & actions!

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