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During deaf camp at the Bill Rice Ranch, a city girl saw for the first time, some beautiful flying red wasps. She asked my wife Carlene about the wasps. Carlene signed, “Wasps hurt you. Leave alone!” Young people have the tendency not obey, so she played with the wasps. Naturally, she was stung and had to go to first-aid. Later she showed Carlene the swollen sting, frowned and signed, “Leave Alone.” All week as she saw Carlene, she frowned and signed, “Leave Alone – Leave Alone.” She learned there are some things you need to leave alone!

At the ranch, I also learned that thorns do you no harm unless you touch them. One day as I was falling, I reached for a tree, but it had thorns. I still have a small knot from the poison thorn. The Bible teaches there are things to “leave alone,” “shun,” “avoid,” and “do not touch.” “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory” (Phil. 2:3). Nothing means zilch, zero, nada, and no thing. Nothing means nothing. Nothing is the absence of some thing. “Leave alone.” “But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness” (II Tim. 2:16).

Shun means to “Leave Alone.” “Now I beseech you, brethren (Christians), mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine…and avoid them” (Rom. 16:17) “Leave alone.” “But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings…” (Titus 3:9). “Leave alone.” Avoid means to evade, and do not go there. “Leave Alone.” It seems Paul wrote more about shunning strife than sin. The world notices when there is strife among Christians. It has been said, “Don’t wrestle with a pig. You both will get dirty, but the pig will enjoy it.” After these many years when Carlene and I face strife, contentions, and troublemakers we both smile and sign, “Leave Alone – Leave Alone.” We should seek unity and love and shun and avoid all strife. “By this (love) shall all men know (even unsaved) that ye are my disciples if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35). So, when faced with wasps, thorns, and pigs, just smile and say, “Leave Alone.” You will be glad you did. So will others, and so will the Lord. Leave sin alone! Remember the greatest testimony to the world is a changed and consistent Christian life.

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