So many times, we think of our sin as something to blame on others. Adam blamed his sin on Eve, and Eve blamed her sin on the Serpent. Somehow, if it weren't for other people, we wouldn't sin, or at least that is how we think.
In the way olden days, monks used to live alone, far away from people, because they didn't want the influence of sin around them. But surprise! The sin was like a Trojan Horse as they sadly figured out, sin was with them, not just outside of them!
Garden plants are like that too, especially tomato plants. I have tried to grow plants in the garden outside, only to have them destroyed by wild animals who think that the garden is a restaurant for them. After years of battling with the animals, I decided to grow my plants upstairs, in a balcony. That way, the wild animals won't be able to get to them. My idea worked for a couple of weeks. Then it didn't work anymore, for the enemy was within the plants themselves, or, at least the soil in the containers. How disappointing.
The same things that happened to my tomato plants in the garden were now happening to my nice, pampered, protected, isolated tomato plants. I looked at the plants and realized that the leaves were being eaten. Not only the tomato plants, but the pepper plants as well. Even though I escaped the plant's enemies that attacked the garden, I could not escape the plant's enemies that were in the soil in the pots that are on the balcony.
Now I have to meticulously check over the plants and pick off any fruitworms I see on them. If the enemy is not wild animals visiting the garden, it is fruitworms that are enjoying the leaves of the plants. The fruitworms come in the potting soil that goes into the containers that hold the plant. Of course, I could take care of the tomato plants perfectly and still have problems because of blight or other tomato diseases. There is no escaping tomato plant problems whether they are in the garden (the world) or on the balcony (separated from the world).
Sin is like that too. We could pull away from the world (and sometimes, we have to) and be isolated, yet still we will have to deal with sin in our hearts. Sin is not just 'out there'. It is within. Some of the monks were surprised when they realized this. We are surprised too, for when we think we are above sinning, we let our guards down.
We need to inspect ourselves and pull off the 'fruitworms' too. The Bible tells us to put sin to death. We can look at other people and see their sins, and want some kind of judgment on them, but we don't see our own sins, so many times. And sometimes, we figure it out too late, after the Enemy of our souls has eaten away at us until there is nothing left but a stem.