Friday, November 9, 2012

I stink!

I stink!

No really...I do!
I'm not saying that for sympathy...I promise.
I'm not trying to elicit empathetic responses like,
 "Oh Lori, you're not thaaaat bad!"


I really do stink...
and I've been told so.  (That's the worse part :o(

My dog Faith got attacked and sprayed by a skunk.

Well I have proof of the 'spray' part, the stink is evidence.
Not sure about the 'attack' part, that happened in the dark.

All I know is...she lost!
(and she didn't come out smelling like a rose.)

She walked outside in sheer confidence, 
barking up a storm --

yet she came back in shaking like a leaf, foaming at the mouth,
throwing up, lethargic...
and stinkin' to high heaven!

We unfortunately can get entangled in sin, and wrestle with the enemy much the same way.

We go out the door with our head held high...
confident...
and after a few warnings,
(that we ignore)...
we finally get sprayed!

Then we're left to deal with the after effects.
And the stench, like sin...
lingers.

Sure, we can try and mask it.
We can spray perfume on it, 
and scrub it in tomato juice.

We can light every candle in the house and even cook homemade clam chowder in the crockpot all day (with extra garlic)--
just hoping you don't notice.
But it's still under the surface.

Then you show up to the Bible Study you're teaching (true story - this
happened to me!)

And you...I mean 'I' slip in wondering if anyone else notices that oh so subtle 
'scent'.  I contemplated confessing, assuming 'certainly they must smell it!'
But I hesitate, because someone told me that Marijuana smells like skunk.  (And the last thing I want is my Ladies thinking their Leader is smoking pot in the bathroom before she covers the material.)

So I stay silent.

Then my exuberant friend shows up a little while later, and first thing she asks when she enters the room?
"IS THAT A SKUNK???"

They all nodded.  (yup...they knew!)

I blurted out immediately...
"IT'S ME!!!"

Good times! ;)

I have to say, most of the house is starting to smell better, but it somehow got into my closet.  It seeped in there uninvited.  Into the very fabric of my clothes.

How we desperately try to keep things 'in the closet'.
Under wraps.

But you end up carrying it around with you.
That unrepentant sin.

Or maybe it's not you.

Like my dog Faith was sprayed --
but it affected all those around her.

The bible addresses this in 1 Cor. 5...there was sexual sin going on among them.  In vs. 2 it says, "You're being arrogant when you should have been more upset about this."  Vs. 6, "Don't you know that a little yeast (sin) spreads through the whole batch of dough?"
The church didn't want to 'judge'.  (We hear it all the time.)

Then vs. 12 says, "After all, do I have any business judging those who are outside the Christian faith?  Isn't it YOUR business to judge those who are 'inside'?

vs. 13, "God will judge those who are outside."

I emphasize this because I've heard so much talk recently about how Christians shouldn't judge. (as a blanket statement)

Nobody wants to be called on their 'stuff' or God forbid be held accountable.
Most aren't even receptive to hearing an alternate view that doesn't line up with their own.  They prefer defending themselves or debating for the sake of a debate (not truly open to learning.)

Even during the recent Election, it's sad to see believers defending issues that God is clearly against in scripture.  I applaud those of you who got into the Lions Den, and defended your faith along with defending the voice of the defenseless.  You may not have gotten 'applause' on your facebook wall,
but I imagine a host of angels applauding in heaven.

Galatians 6:1 says, "If anyone is caught in sin, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness."

We can speak the truth in love.

We can also stand strong for what is right--
respectfully.

The idea must not be about winning an argument--
is is about restoration.

Appeal.

And before you're quick to think I'm judging any of you...
I myself have been in situations where I needed Christian friends to appeal to me.  I'm forever grateful for those who loved me and shared truth with me.

Never get to the point where you are not receptive to a heart change.  
God is in the business of Heart Surgery,
big and small!

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