Dead flies turn a perfumer’s oil rancid, so a little foolishness is more potent than wisdom and honor. Ecclesiastes 10:1
When a fly lands in our soup, we are horrified. It’s not enough that we “spoon” the fly out; we change the whole bowl of soup because the fly is a carrier of disease and germs. Who knows what it leaves in its quick swim?
The same goes with perfume. No matter how expensive a bottle of perfume is, once a fly lands in the precious liquid, the perfume goes from being expensive to being utterly worthless. In fact, if the fly stays longer than 5 minutes in the perfume, its wings will tire. Soon, it’ll be a DEAD fly floating, and it’ll turn the whole bottle putrid.
In a Christian’s life, spiritual perfume is smelled by others when our words and actions exude wisdom and honor. It can’t be helped! People are drawn to those who can add meaning and worth to their lives; to those who pour out life. This should be a characteristic of those who follow God.
However, “Dead flies turn a perfumer’s oil rancid…” (Ecc. 10:1). We have to ask ourselves, “What are the dead flies in our perfume?” What sort of foolishness can mix with wisdom and honor, and turn the whole of us into something stinky and rancid? Ecclesiastes 10:11 continues with, “so a little foolishness is more potent than wisdom and honor.”
A little foolishness. Foolishness begins with a “yes” to the flesh. A “yes” to allowing the rotting carcass of a fly to swim in our hearts. Remember that flies are drawn to that which is rotting. Rotting flesh. Rotting fruits. Is there any form of rottenness in our character? Our speech? How about our attitudes? How do we react when offended? How do we react when impatient? How do we react when wronged? Does unbelief exist in our hearts? These are dead flies. And if we’re not careful, the longer we allow these flies to swim, the more our hearts will fill with stench. This stench will perfume our actions and speech.
“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil person out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.” Luke 6:45
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, acts of adultery, other immoral sexual acts, thefts, false testimonies, and slanderous statements. Matthew 15:19
It is therefore so important to examine our hearts for “flies.” We can ask the Holy Spirit to do this, especially since sometimes, the flies can be so small we miss seeing them! We can also ask the Holy Spirit to anoint us with the fresh oil of His presence everyday. Let’s invite Him to shoo the flies away. Our lives should not stink with the carcass of flies!
When the Holy Spirit is in our lives, the fruit of His Presence will be seen. Remember: rotting fruit attracts flies, so we must ask the Holy Spirit to grow in us the vibrant, fresh fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, and self-control.
David said this to the Lord: “But You have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox; I have been anointed with fresh oil.” FRESH.
Let it be a habit for us to ask the Holy Spirit to anoint us afresh each day. We cannot live with last week’s oil or even yesterday’s oil. No, that will turn rancid and the flies will see our hearts as a good landing place to hatch their eggs and maggots. No, we must ask for today’s oil.
Janina Marie Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of One Voice Magazine, a teacher of world literature, and a student of the Bible. She enjoys reflecting on life’s curve balls and plateaus. She resides in the Philippines, the country known for people who smile a lot.