Monday, May 03, 2010

Something Smells

Every time we'd pass a certain spot in our kitchen, we'd catch a whiff.

We tried everything.

We emptied the garbage and scrubbed the can. We looked through the pantry to see if a potato had escaped and rotted. We washed all the laundry (our washer is in the kitchen). We washed the dog bedding. We wiped off the counter tops. We cleaned the microwave.

The smell began to permeate the rest of the house as well. We would open the windows to let in fresh air. We swept and mopped the floors. We'd spray air freshener and think we'd finally took care of everything, but the minute we came home from an outing, there would be that odor again. It was driving us crazy!

I finally decided to do a top to bottom scrubbing of the area and was rewarded for my efforts.

I had purchased a bag of garlic bulbs and they had started to rot! Since they still looked pretty on the outside and weren't "oozing" anything, I thought they were fine. When I picked up a bulb, however, it crushed easily in my hand and emitted the strange odor we'd been battling.


Every once in while, something in my life stinks.

It may not be apparent at first, but bring up a certain topic, watch a certain movie, or after hearing a certain sermon, I'll catch a whiff.

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanliness.

So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. - Matthew 23:27, 28

How quickly I recover from any unwanted stench in my life depends on how serious I am about tracking it down. Do I continue to walk past it and ignore it? Sometimes. In fact, this is the easiest way, but eventually it begins to affect those around me, not just myself.

Sometimes I'll read a great blog or hear a great sermon and think I've dealt with it at last. Really, I'm only opening widows and spraying air freshener. I eventually have to come back to the fact that something stinks. Just like Lazarus, rotting in the grave, waiting for Jesus to bring him back to life. . .

. . . I stinketh.

When I finally decide to do something about it, it takes much more work than it should have if I had dealt with it right away. Still, it's so worth the effort to clean and search and scrub and hunt down the stench and purge it from my life. How do I finally get rid of it?

By calling it what it is. By speaking about it to God and to others.

By being real.

I have judged others for their sin, as if mine weren't worse. The truth is, all sin condemns! All sin needs a Savior.

I have been unloving.

I have been selfish.

I have been lazy.

I am these things, still.

I stinketh.

"Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God." 1 Corinthians 6:11

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