Barnacles attach themselves to a ship and must be scrapped off. If not the ship will be slowed down as it journeys. As the barnacles grow and are joined by others the ship is not only slowed down but the surface can begin to corrode and lasting damage occurs. The vessel then must go to a dry dock for cleaning, repairing and painting.
Our idols are like barnacles. They lead us from God and into sin. The longer we co-exist with these idols and the sins that so easily beset us, the harder the going through life.
Paul called us earthen vessels, clay pots (chamber pots even?) and that we are cracked at that. We have barnacles that need scraping off.
One reason Paul told Corinth to examine themselves before coming to the Lord’s table is to scrape off barnacles. When your church celebrates communion, the Eucharist, the Lord’s supper, be sure, even if the leader doesn’t remind you, to consider Paul’s words to Corinth. Examine yourselves. Scrape the barnacles.
God told us to have sabbath. As part of your sabbath, be sure you are scraping barnacles. Since you can’t see all your barnacles, be sure you have a fellow disciple that you can be real with and that will point to barnacles that you missed. Perhaps he will even tug at one to help you see it.
In this way, your vessel can sail with less friction.