1 John 1:7
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

“Leaves of three, let them be.” “One, two, three … don’t touch me.” Do you know what I’m talking about? I’m talking about poison ivy, a plant with three leaves connected closely together on each stem.

Poison ivy (toxicodendron radicans) at Perrot State ParkThere’s a good reason why poison ivy is the most well-known toxic plant in North America. Most poisons that work by touch are usually quick to lose their effect, but poison ivy leaves are covered with a sticky oil that makes the poison cling to skin and clothing. And that poison can cause a really nasty allergic reaction.

But there are folk sayings that are useful in identifying poison ivy. “Longer middle stem; stay away from them.” This points out that the middle leaf of the three has a long stem while the two side leaves attach almost directly. “Side leaflets like mittens, will itch like the dickens.” The side leaves are smaller and may be shaped like mittens. “Red leaflets in the spring, it’s a dangerous thing” and “berries white, run in fright” can also help you steer clear of poison ivy.

When you think about it, sin can be compared to poison ivy. Like poison ivy, sin is fairly easy to recognize. We have the Bible’s admonitions, for one. And we can count on the Holy Spirit to warn us when we are tempted to sin. Best of all, though, we have Jesus, who gives us power to resist sin and then forgives when we fall into sin.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son to die on the cross to rescue Your people from the power, the punishment and eventually the presence of sin. Amen.

Notes:
Some of this material came from “How to Identify Poison Ivy” at the wikiHow website. Photo: Poison ivy (toxicodendron radicans) at Perrot State Park. Uploaded to Wikimedia Commons by SWMNPoliSciProject. (CC BY 3.0)