In the forests of colder climates there is a little animal called the ermine. The ermine’s fur coat is brown during the summer, when the snow falls, it turns as white as the snow, and so is prized by fur hunters. The Creator has built into that little creature a pride in its white fur, so that it protects it at almost any cost.
Because of its pure white fur the ermine became a symbol of moral purity and innocence. Legend tells us the ermine, with its beautiful white coat, would rather die before soiling its fur.
One ancient Roman author (Aelian) wrote that if the ermine fell into a mud puddle it would immediately die of sorrow.
Legend also says that hunters would take advantage of that trait by smearing the entrance of its lair with mud before beginning the hunt. After being chased by the hunters and dogs, the ermine would finally make it home, only to discover the mud on the entranceway. Rather than dirty itself by running through the mud, the animal would give itself up to the hunters and dogs which chased it. It would rather die than get the mud on its beautiful, pure white coat.
I wonder if that could be said of us today? Are we that eager to maintain a purity of spirit in these days before Christ returns? Paul wrote to the Christians in Philippi, “Finally, brothers, 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).
--Rocky Henriques, www.uticabc.com