I have heard this term many times. A husband or wife may say, “Let’s not go there. That will open up ‘a can of worms.'” A parent may say, “I don’t want to open up that ‘can of worms.’ What do they mean?
Cambridge Dictionary defines ‘a can of worms’ as “a situation that causes a lot of problems for you when you start to deal with it.”
People are afraid of opening ‘a can of worms’ for a variety of reasons, and they all stem from keeping what is in the can safely in the can. Maybe the can was opened at one point, and what appeared was dirty, ugly, slimy, and nasty. So, the lid went back on the can and sealed tighter than before. A can of worms. Ugh!
The problem, though, is the worms are still in the can.
Try as you might, the worms will not stay hidden forever, and they certainly won’t remain hidden safely. Many times, it is the things we don’t want to deal with that we need to address.
Solomon mentions in Proverbs 4:23 that we need to guard our hearts with all vigilance.
Matthew 15 records a conversation between Jesus and His disciples. In verse 18, Jesus mentions some things that come out of the heart and defile the man.
I suggest even if the lid is tight on the ‘can of worms,’ if it is in the heart, defilement will come at some point. The lid will not stay on forever. Poison will eat away at it until all that is within comes slithering out. Then watch out. Words will be said, and deeds acted out, and you will think, “Where did that come from?”
It came from ‘a can of worms’ that you ignored.
How much better it is to open the can voluntarily, let the light of the Spirit shine in, allow tears of repentance and forgiveness flow, and experience healing in the soul.
Let me know if I can be of assistance.
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