The Lice

Monday, September 12, 2022
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "At Thy Feet Our God And Father"1 (Lyrics)

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 – For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (NIV)

I started to scratch my head the minute that my daughter announced that my oldest granddaughter had picked up head lice: those creepy-crawly, hard-to-get-rid-of, teeny-tiny creatures that live in your hair and suck your blood.

Immediately, I stripped the girls' beds at my house, as well as the couch throw, and tramped up to their house where piles of bedding, car seat covers, and throws were already overflowing the laundry room. Adding mine to the pile, the task of getting everything thoroughly vacuumed and washed began.

Next came the dash to the health clinic to pick up the special Malathion solution to kill the lice. Both girls had to have their hair washed and then sit with the solution on their heads for ten minutes before rinsing. Then came the combing with a special nit comb to pull as many lice and their eggs out of the hair as we could. The eggs are especially important to remove, as the solution does not necessarily kill them, and a louse nit can take one to two weeks to hatch, which begins the whole lousy cycle once again. What a job! But it had to be done, painstakingly, day after day, until they were gone.

Ridding ourselves of lousy thoughts is also a painstaking job. It's a life-long job for the Christian, for it is our thoughts that shape us and make us who we are. We must therefore be vigilant in guarding what we allow into our hearts and minds each and every day.

But how do we do this? How do we take every thought captive to Christ? By knowing the truth of Scripture, wherein lie the good and perfect thoughts of God. We must do as the apostle Paul wrote when he penned, "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things." (Philippians 4:8 NIV) We can also do this by calling upon the Holy Spirit daily to nudge and convict us, when our thoughts are not in line with God's.

John 14:26 – But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. (NIV)

When applied to our lives, these truths have the power to keep in check and gradually clean from our mind any and all lousy thoughts — ungodly thoughts that lay the eggs of anger, hatred, discrimination, jealousy, lust, laziness, prejudice, scorn, arrogance, and the like — and replacing them with God's thoughts. His good and perfect thoughts can change us and our world, one thought at a time.

I think that's something that we all want. Don't you?

Prayer: Thank You, God, for Your Word and Your Holy Spirit. Strengthen and motivate us to know and apply Your Word to our hearts and minds day by day through the power of Your Spirit within us, that our every thought might glorify You and transform our world. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <lynnephippsatlin@gmail.com>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks again for your wise words.


    Great analogy. Although I am scratching now, I will visualize this idea. Thank you.


    Wow! What an analogy! You turned the bad experience into a good devotional and a lesson for us all. Thank you for sharing.


    Another home run Lynne.
    Thank you.
    Blessings.


    Thanks, Lynne.
    We all need God’s help to keep those lousy thoughts away. Very interesting story.


    Everyone who read you today no doubt began scratching their heads whether or not it was necessary, Lynne. What an EXCELLENT devotional and Memorable! Thanks.


    The dreaded word lice I remember well as a retired teacher and principal, Lynne. A lot of work but a great way to illustrate such an important bible lesson. Thanks and blessings!


    Good morning, Lynne. This is a wonderful call and encouragement, personally and for all with whom you’ve shared it.
    Thank you, and blessings on your day.
    P.S. I hope the lice are gone!


    I’m going through a particularly persistent “infestation” just now! Very low resistance, need to gather the troops against the enemy! Thanks for reminding me of the Supreme Power that will overcome!
    Bless you, Lynne for your encouragement!


    Dear Lynne, thank you for another of your excellent devotional writings. Sounds like you accomplished quite an unpleasant chore in ridding that lice invasion and you gave a great comparison of how the Lord can work in our lives to help us overcome situations. Blessings for these writings you do.


    Thanks Lynne. Such a good comparison of how to rid ourselves of lousy thoughts and then as Paul said in Philippians 4:8 “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – think about these things” and replace the lousy thoughts of our minds with God’s thoughts. I have been trying to do just that, thanks again for your inspiring devotion and help. Blessings.


    OH MY LYNNE, This devotional reminded me of the pinworm situation in Texas and other areas of the south. Those lovely worms live in sandboxes and other places children play. The cure was an awful red medicine which often did not stay down where it belonged!!! And then began the same washing routine you mention in your very effective devotional.
    Thanks, Lynne.


    Oh, Lynne – what a powerful simile you have given us. As a youngster, I attended a one-room school and we all shared the common health issues, including lice. You have definitely “nailed it” in your description.
    How important this lesson is today when so much that is less than good, noble, and praiseworthy crosses our paths at every turn.
    Well done.


    Thanks, Lynne. This paragraph says it well:
    When applied to our lives, these truths have the power to keep in check and gradually clean from our mind any and all lousy thoughts – ungodly thoughts that lay the eggs of anger, hatred, discrimination, jealousy, lust, laziness, prejudice, scorn, arrogance, and the like – and replacing them with God’s thoughts. His good and perfect thoughts can change us and our world, one thought at a time.
    If we grab hold of that, our lives can change.


    Wow Lynn…. I needed to hear this!
    Thanks for the reminder that …”Ridding ourselves of lousy thoughts is also a painstaking job. It’s a life-long job for the Christian, for it is our thoughts that shape us and make us who we are. We must therefore be vigilant in guarding what we allow into our hearts and minds each and every day.”
    Healing from a hurt is not a one-and-done event, and you reminded me that the emotions and negative thoughts can still haunt Christians. This helps me and the young adults that I will be sharing this with.
    May God continue to bless you as an encourager and equipper of the saints.
    (MD)


    Good morning, Lynne,
    Just from the title, I guessed it was you. I think you are the only PresbyCan devotional writer who shares about the challenges of school age children. I think everyone who read the title would be scratching their head.
    I don’t remember when the 6 of us were children that we ever had lice, but once my son had it and I remember the work to get rid of it. I am not sure the schools check the children’s head the first weeks of school when they come back from holidays any more. Since I had mostly brothers and hair was short when they were young, it might have not been so easy for them to hide. I think with girls it might be harder, but I could be wrong.
    It is a good analogy, because keeping our thoughts focused on Jesus and his example of living, takes a tremendous amount of help from the Holy Spirit. I do believe our thoughts shape our heart and mind, so it is worth the effort. Your list of “eggs” is a good one and a reminder of how easy it is to go down the wrong path each and every day.
    As I join in your prayer, I especially like the part “transform this world”. Right now I feel we need a lot of transformation, and I trust God is at work. Blessings.


    Dear Lynne,
    Thank you for your analogy of the ridding of lice and lousy thoughts.
    These are always cumbersome tasks. I had very long hair when I taught school but wore it up for fear of someone’s louse being too close to my head. In 23 years of teaching, I never got a case of lice, but I did work on ridding myself of some “lousy thoughts,” and I thank the Lord He always successfully helps us.

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