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  • Writer's pictureAlan Fong

Dead Flies

Today's Verse:

Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour. ~Ecclesiastes 10:1


Flies are pesky pests. They carry disease and sickness. Most of us try not to let them enter into our houses. Our setting for the devotion this morning is a sweet smelling ointment that has been left uncovered. It brings a delightful aroma into the room. However, flies are attracted to its smell as well. The flies that deliberately land on this ointment wind up getting stuck and eventually die in it. The dead flies that accumulate in this ointment cause it to give off a wretched and stinky smell. The ointment is now putrefying, and what was once sweet smelling has become a stench. This is a powerful picture of an unprotected reputation. If we do not carefully guard our reputation, dead flies will make their way into our life and ruin whatever influence we have developed.

We see the importance of our reputation.

Ecclesiastes 7:1a tells us, “A good name is better than precious ointment.” Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.” Our greatest asset is the reputation we are known for. Employers, schools, and places where a high degree of trust is required want people who have unblemished reputations. Honesty, truthfulness, and good judgment are required necessities for a good reputation. As we build up our reputation, we become a trusted name to people. Never allow your position of trust to become something that is questioned or watered down. Your reputation is what gives you weight with people. Your reputation is the compelling factor that influences someone to follow your recommendation and example. Our reputation is the goodwill that we must constantly build and make more valuable over time.

We see the injury to our reputation.

Little follies are like dead flies that are allowed to corrupt the ointment of the apothecary. We must be careful of the flies that could affect our speech. We are constantly being evaluated by the words we speak. We are commanded to let our speech be always with grace and seasoned with salt. Critical words can ruin us. Cursing can ruin us. Complaining can ruin us. We must be careful of the flies that could affect our spirit. Unchecked anger and wrath lead to incidents of rage and destruction. If we allow bitter feelings to affect us, we will be critical in our spirit. If we are moody, snappy, and irritable all the time, we mark ourselves as being grumpy. We must be careful of the flies that could affect our separation. Proverbs 13:20 says, “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” Evil communications corrupt good manners. The wrong friends and associations affect our judgment. Dead flies accumulate when we are not careful with our speech, spirit, and separation.

We see the insulation to our reputation.

There are two ways we can insulate our reputation from flies getting in. First, keep the container of your life closed to flies getting in. We must walk in the Spirit so that the lust of the flesh is not allowed to succeed. Close the lid to evil speech, a bad spirit, and corrupt associations. Take responsibility for your actions, and be willing to humble yourself when needed. Second, if a fly does land in the ointment of your life, be wise enough to remove it quickly. Stop bitterness before the root goes deeper. Avoid murmuring and complaining. Don’t let annoying people and situations fly off the handle. Be calm, and think before you say what comes to your mind. Remember that a fool uttereth all his mind.

Your reputation is a sweet smelling ointment. Keep it that way. Be a constant, sweet savor unto Christ and men.

Have a sweet-smelling God Morning!


Bible Reading Schedule: 1 Chronicles 6-8

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