Monday, August 29, 2016
AUGUST 28 "DO YOU STINK?"
I work with an elderly lady and when I walk by, I hold my breath, not because she stinks, but the perfume she wears, stinks. She does not take the time and pay the cost, to put that perfume on, so that others can say, "she stinks, but regardless, that is the end result. I'm sure there are others that will tell her that the perfume she is wearing smells very nice. Paul describes our life as a sweet smelling perfume. However Paul makes an interesting observation here, he writes that not all think our perfume is so sweet. Paul writes that to those who are being saved we are a life giving perfume, but to those who are perishing we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. At work, at school and family events, to some, as they see you walking over, they say to each other before you get there, "block your nose, he comes so and so and she/her stinks of death and doom". And they hold their breath the whole time you are there. The Word of God has a scripture that gives us insight into this, "do not cast your pearls to the swine". I remember my son, when he was about 7 dragging me in the midst of 10 rough looking, basketball players, as these tall and big teens gathered around us, wondering what this little 7 year old and his dad would want (is this dad going to ask if his 7 year old son can play with us, what's this?) my son looked to me and said, "go ahead dad, tell them about Jesus!" That's when all eyes were on me and I could see it in their eyes, "yeah...Mr. Dead, why don't you go ahead and tell us!". Well, I did and one player was getting ready to take me off the court, but another player intervened. They all walked away, I was the smell of death and doom to these men. Though they had been playing ball and all were quite sweaty, to them, I was the one that stunk! However, one young man did not leave, to one young man I did not stink at all, I was the smell of life to him. The basic rule of thumb is, if someone that is around you or someone you are around "thinks you stink" because of the perfume or cologne you are wearing, your options are simple; either get away from him/her or change your perfume/cologne. We do not have the option of changing our perfume/cologne. The message we preach is not our message and it is not ours to change. However if there are some that think we stink and others that think we are the smell of life wouldn't it make sense to go to those who don't think we stink. There are some perfumes/colognes over the years that I have learned to like and change my opinion of them. So this is not to say that to those whom we stink, we avoid like the plague and just damn them to Hell. Things change, people change and sometimes/often we must re-visit and see if we are still the smell of "death and doom". But the point Paul is making, the point Proverbs is making, is that if we spend most our time, around those that think we stink, engaging in endless battles and arguments that we are not going to win; then we are wasting our precious time and efforts and could be using that time and effort towards someone else that would totally be touched by the message and hope of the Gospel. Do you stink? Well we know the answer to that is "no", but if you are giving yourself to a group that thinks you do, you may want to consider your alternatives? Never give up on anyone, but also make the best use of your time, resources and opportunities...."for the night cometh, where no man can labor". We must be careful not to allow people to goad our flesh and draw us into futile arguments, rather our job is to get as many people in The Ark, before the door shuts because once it shuts, that's it.