Home > Christianity, Faith > Picking Up Dead Possums

Picking Up Dead Possums

Growing up, I lived basically on one of my grandfather’s farm.  Eventually, he quit farming and we began to do a bit of it on the side.  We owned cattle and raised tobacco and hay.  I learned to work a bit from these experiences.

When I was around seven or eight years old, we were out working on something.  You’ll forgive me if I don’t quite remember what.  What I do remember is that I found a dead possum.  (Yes, I know that it is technically spelled opossum, but on the farm it’s possum)  Being a kid, I did the most reasonable thing imaginable.  I picked it up by the tail and showed my dad.

Believe it or not, he was not amused.  In fact, he became a bit upset.  We got in the truck and drove home where I had to wash and scrub my hands.  Evidently, I was on the verge of contracting some deadly disease from which I may have died.  Since I remember this event and am here to write about means, thankfully, that didn’t happen.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the only dead possum I’ve picked up.  I’ve picked up several in my life.  So have you.


I’ve been spending a lot of time in Galatians this year.  One particular verse has stood out to me lately.  Here is what is says:

Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

I don’t know how many times I’ve read that verse, but it hit me like a ton of bricks.  The flesh, along with its passions and desires, have been executed.  Killed.  If we used an old John Bunyan or John Owen word, it’s been mortified.  It reminds me of what Samuel did to Agag when Saul didn’t follow God’s instructions.  Samuel pulled out a sword and hacked Agag to death.  That’s one of my favorite stories in the Bible, but I digress.

All of that stuff is dead.  Paul gives us a convenient list of what the deeds of the flesh are.  There are all sorts of stuff in that list.  Some of which I don’t know anything about, some that I know too well.

Regardless of what deed of the flesh we find in our lives, it’s all the same.

Dead possums.

These things are dead and rotting.  They aren’t live.  They’re gross.  And we pick them up by the tail and twirl them around for everyone to see.

Why?  It makes no sense.  God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts and along with it fruit which is far superior to these dead possums that we want to carry around.  I’ve come to realize that it’s rather insane.

Let’s leave the dead possums lying where they are.  Let’s not pick them up.  Let’s display the fruit of the Spirit instead.

Do you find yourself picking up dead possums?

  1. September 16, 2013 at 8:00 am

    My “dead” possums are just playing dead. They keep coming back. Grrrr.

  2. September 16, 2013 at 10:42 am

    All the time; I can’t seem to stop messing with those things. Those crucified flesh passages always give me pause, because it sounds like I should automatically be good and that just never happened. I’m better as I go along, I want to be better the better I know Him. But I still keep getting my hands dirty somehow. How do we keep clean? How do we work on that, other than resisting the temptation to pick up those possums?

    • September 16, 2013 at 10:49 am

      Great question. Maybe I need to answer that tomorrow.

      • September 16, 2013 at 11:20 am

        Yeah! I’ve noticed a lot that we writers put stuff out there and it just leads to more questions! Especially on religious topics.

      • September 16, 2013 at 11:21 am

        I already have that post written….in my head

  3. September 16, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Yes–less the more I meditate on the Word and pray. But, yes.

    • September 17, 2013 at 6:10 am

      I think those are the connectors to the solution

  4. September 16, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    Thank God not as much as I use to. Looking forward to your next post.

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