A burr is a small seed which has stiff bristles or hooks around it. Burrs are most frequently found in brushy, unkempt areas. When an individual walks through the area, the burrs attach themselves to hair, fur, and clothing. Once a burr has grabbed on to something, it does not want to let go. The individual must labor over his clothing until every last burr is gone and yet, later, there will likely still be one that was overlooked. Interestingly enough, Velcro was designed after the properties of burrs.
“A burr under my saddle” is an idiomatic phrase which is defined as something which annoys you or spurs you to action according to the website “Usingenglish.com”. Understanding the property of burrs lends itself to understanding the phrase’s meaning. When a burr gets under a horses saddle, it annoys the animal causing it to be unwieldy as the burr digs into its flesh causing discomfort. This same reaction occurs in the human, as the burrs scratch into his flesh.
The consequences of sin can very easily be compared to the burr. First, consequences of sin are like a burr because they are not comfortable. They are supposed to be uncomfortable bringing about repentance. In the life of a Christian, the discomfort should be felt from the conscience and from caring brothers and sisters who reprove the sin.
2 Corinthians 7:9-11 – I now rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye were made sorry unto repentance; for ye were made sorry after a godly sort, that ye might suffer loss by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance unto salvation, a repentance which bringeth no regret: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. For behold, this selfsame thing, that ye were made sorry after a godly sort, what earnest care it wrought in you, yea what clearing of yourselves, yea what indignation, yea what fear, yea what longing, yea what zeal, yea what avenging! In everything ye approved yourselves to be pure in the matter.
Second, the consequences of sin are like a burr in that they often do not easily go away:
Acts 9:10-14 – Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and the Lord said unto him in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go to the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one named Saul, a man of Tarsus: for behold, he prayeth; and he hath seen a man named Ananias coming in, and laying his hands on him, that he might receive his sight. But Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard from many of this man, how much evil he did to thy saints at Jerusalem: and here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call upon thy name.
Acts 9:26 – And when he was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: and they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple.
Adam brought a life of toil into the world because of his sin. Israel spent 40 years in the wilderness because of their disobedience. King David sinned with Bathsheba and felt the consequences the rest of his life. An individual who does not repent of sin, feels the consequences of his sin for eternity.
Third, like a burr, sin is easier to obtain than it is be discard:
Matthew 10:21-22 – And brother shall deliver up brother to death, and the father his child: and children shall rise up against parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.
Jesus spoke of a narrow way and a wide way:
Matthew 7:13-14 – Enter ye in by the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many are they that enter in thereby. For narrow is the gate, and straitened the way, that leadeth unto life, and few are they that find it.
It seems so much easier to walk the wide way. Why walk the narrow way? All the pleasure of the world seems to be there. A new way of thinking is required to get off the wide way and few want to change.
Finally, sin like a burr, is best avoided by staying from away from its environment.
I Corinthians, 6:18 – Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
I Corinthians 10:14 – Wherefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.
I Corinthians 15:33 – Be not deceived: Evil companionships corrupt good morals.
2 Timothy 2:22 – But flee youthful lusts, and follow after righteousness, faith, love, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
If you want to smell like the roses, stay away from the pigs.