Dumb Like Flies
To demonstrate the foolishness of falling into the same sins that we have seen ruin the lives of friends, family and people around us.
A fly strip (you know, one of those long, extremely sticky fly catchers that you see hung up in barns, camps, etc.) It’s great if you can get a used one that is coated with flies already. Especially if there are still some live ones who are buzzing and struggling to get off the thing. If I can’t find a used one, I have in the past used a new one that I have strategically placed some fake plastic flies on. But I will still try to hunt down a couple of live flies to stick on it. It makes the illustration that much more memorable.
I usually bring the fly strip out and teens (especially girls) will groan and be a bit disgusted. I then dive into a monologue of how absolutely stupid flies must be to land on the thing. Okay, I will give some leeway to the first fly who decides to use it as a landing strip, but any after that, they have no excuse. Think about it: Joe the fly, chugging along, getting a bit winded and decides he needs to land. He looks around and sees this great flying landing strip enticingly hanging there. As he begins to make his approach he suddenly notices the carcasses of dozens of other flies laying all over the place. Then Joe realizes that they are not all carcasses, but that some of them are still alive and struggling futilely to escape. Wow, he sees his uncle, flat on his back, wings stuck in goo, kicking and buzzing furiously. Just above him is that pretty little fruit fly he’s been checking out lately. She’s stuck up to her ankles, beating her wings madly to escape. The cacophony of trapped and dying flies rises up to him as he makes his approach. So Joe thinks to himself, “This looks like a great spot to land. Look how popular it is, there’s dozens of friends and family already here!”
How foolish! How stupid a fly must be to land in a spot where dozens of his own kind are dead and dying. We’d never be that stupid, right? Than how come we are willing to engage in pre-marital sex, even after we’ve seen it wreck the hopes and dreams of friends and school mates? How come we will experiment with drugs even though we’ve seen it mess up the lives of others? How come we decide to seriously date somebody who is not a Christian in spite of the fact that we’ve seen other teens drift away from God because of their boy/girlfriend?
The Bible says in Proverbs 6:27-28,(NIV) Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched? Basically the Bible says that if you play with fire, you’re gonna get burned. Galatians 6:7 (NIV) says, Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. In other words, don't be surprised if your life gets messed up when you do wrong things. It’s the Biblical principle of harvesting what you planted. So. . . don’t be a stupid fly, blindly landing into whatever is going on, but be an example of a Christian in your speech, life, love faith and purity…1 Timothy 4:12 (NIV) Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.
By Mark Fogarty, Student Ministries Pastor, Temple Baptist Church, Nova Scotia, Canada