Written by Rose Jeffrey
It was a day when a good ‘first impression’ was of paramount importance. Meeting the parents of your boyfriend for the first time is a nerve-wracking experience, to say the least. So, every effort had been made: her outfit carefully chosen; her hair in place; her make-up applied with extra care – not too much; not too little. And then, the anticipated moment arrives. She pauses and takes a breath before making a grand entrance, through the hallway, across the white carpet, to meet the waiting parents. It is in that moment, that she becomes acutely aware of a scent. Not a pleasant scent… Turning her head, she glances back from whence she came; surveying the floor, she is aghast to see a series of brown smears that lead right to where she is standing. She had walked dog poo into the house, right across the pristine white carpet. This in fact did make a lasting first impression, but certainly not the good one she had hoped!
I am very blessed to share my home with a beautiful companion. Jonte is my long-haired, black and tan standard, Dachshund. But as beautiful as he is, he is very capable of creating a less than pleasing aroma from time to time. Every day, I take a walk around my backyard and I “pick-up” after him, because this is what a responsible pet owner should do. Jonte can’t do this for himself; he needs help to get things cleaned up.
Chuck Miller said: “Sin is like dog poo: when you get some on your shoe, a little is as bad as a lot.”
“Sin” – it’s not a very popular topic for discussion these days, and yet if left unaddressed our sin is going to wind us up in serious trouble. Sin is defined by the dictionary as any reprehensible or regrettable action, behaviour, lapse; a fault or offence. Sin can be a thought, a word or an action and is often the culmination of all three.
My question is this: How seriously do we take our sin? Our little sins? Our white lies? That unspoken grudge we’ve held onto? That secret thing we do that is not hurting anybody else, or so we think? But perhaps there’s a more important question we need to ask: How seriously does God take our sin? Our little sins? The truth is that any sin, regardless of how small we may perceive it to be, is big enough to drive a wedge between us and God.
Just as a small amount of dog poo can permeate a room, even a ‘small sin’ is a stench to God, and for the record, God does not use a “sin scale”. Sin is sin; it all ends with the same result for us: separation from God.
I’m so grateful that God is all about “grace”. He knew from the beginning that we were going to need His help; a care-package to rescue us from the mess of our sin’s past, present and future.
So, at just the right time while we were still sinners, God sent His own Son Jesus, (Romans 5:8) wrapped in human-form to show us the way back to Him; He paid the ultimate price to free us from the curse of sin, giving us a fresh start and a clean slate.
1 John 1:8-9 says, If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. Only God can do this, because He covered the full cost of the transaction; He bought our freedom with the blood of Jesus. It was a huge price tag, which demonstrates unfathomable love. So, what is our response to this?
It is wise to ask God every day to examine our hearts; to test us, and to know our anxious thoughts; to ask Him to point out any of our ways that are offensive to Him, and ask Him to lead us a better way. (Psalm 139:23-24)
Let’s seek to keep the air clear with God. Let’s ask Him to replace the smell of our sin with the aroma of Christ, a pleasing fragrance that will draw the attention of those around us to a God who longs to do the same for them.
PRAYER: Dear God, so far today, I’ve done all right. I haven’t gossiped, I haven’t lost my temper, I haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or overindulgent. And, I’m really glad about that. But in a few minutes, I’m going to get out of bed. And from then on, I’m going to need all the help You can give me. AMEN… (Author Unknown)
SONG: What a Beautiful Name It Is by Brooke Ligertwood