Sermon Illustrations

Goldfish Dies From Soap Used To Clean Its Tank

[KILLER SOAP] Sometimes we consider it our responsibility to correct a brother or sister in Christ. We may notice an action or attitude that is contrary to the teachings of the Bible. So we decide it’s up to us to correct the wrong. We need to be sure, however, that we are led by God. Helping to clean up another person’s life is a very delicate task. Above all, we must beware of feeling superior, or we may do more harm than good.

Leslie B. Flynn told of a youngster who won some goldfish at a school carnival. The child’s father found a fish tank complete with gravel and filter for only $5.00. He industriously scrubbed it and filled it with fresh water. Then he dropped the fish into their new home. But within a few days, all the fish died. He soon discovered his mistake: the soap he had used to clean the tank had poisoned the fish. He had unknowingly used "killer soap."

Far too often, when we are busy "cleaning up" the lives of others, we do more harm than good. Harsh criticisms and a judgmental attitude cause deep hurt and create bitter feelings- not only toward us but also toward God and the church.

If you think God wants you to correct someone, be careful you don’t use "killer soap." Use gentleness and humility, and leave the rest to God. The one who overemphasizes the faults of others underestimates his own.

From a sermon by Dennis Davidson, Service To Fellow Christians, 11/5/2009

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