Monday, November 19, 2001
Skunks are kind of cute - but you just don't want to get near them. Humans seem to understand that pretty well. Apparently, some dogs just don't get it. Like the one a pastor friend of mine recently told me about. The dog belongs to a man in his congregation - and somehow his canine companion got into a tangle with one of those striped kitties. Needless to say, the dog reeked! His owner did his best to bathe him thoroughly. But the smell was still so strong that, before it was over, and literally the poor man got so sick in the night that he literally had to go to the hospital!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A WORD WITH YOU today about "The Skunk's Not Worth the Smell."
I don't care what reason anyone or anything has for getting close to a skunk - it just is not worth the smell. There's this lasting stench of touching what you never should have gotten near in the first place. But for many of us who would never touch a skunk, we are living with the stinking after-effects of touching something we should never should have touched. And it could be that you're still involved with a person, an activity, an influence, maybe a habit that you just don't want to let go of. But it's fouling the air of your life and probably the lives of people close to you.
The Bible commands us to identify the things in our life that are having a contaminating effect - and it tells us what to do with them. In 2 Corinthians 7:1, our word for today from the Word of God, God says, "Since we have these promises, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God."
Clean yourself up, in other words, from the contaminators in your life. The reason God gives is "since we have these promises". Now, what are those promises? Well they immediately precede this verse in 2 Corinthians 6 which tells us that, if we belong to Jesus, we are "the temple of the living God" and we are "sons and daughters" of "the Lord Almighty" (2 Corinthians 6:16, 18). In other words, "Do you realize who you are? The most holy God lives in you, man! You are a prince or princess in the family of the King of kings. Live like it!" God's conclusion is: "Touch no unclean thing" (2 Corinthians 6:17) "...purify yourselves from everything that contaminates."
There may be some stuff in your life that a temple, a child of God should not be touching. It may be what you watch -- it may be some of the music you listen to -- it may be the negative talk or the gossip that just keeps polluting you. The "skunk" could be a person who is contaminating you spiritually -- stuff on the Internet -- a grudge you won't let go of -- a relationship that's gotten way too physical. The Holy Spirit of God, who lives in you, is probably making you feel uneasy inside right now about the things you're touching that make Him feel uncomfortable.
The stench of handling what stinks spiritually reaches a long way - the guilt, the people who are hurt, the feelings of defeat and unworthiness, the damage to a reputation, the damage to a relationship, the distance between you and your Savior, the powerlessness because God can't bless His contaminated child.
The things that stink in your life may very well be ultimately because of the sin you've been hanging onto. Let this be the day you go to Jesus for His forgiving and for His cleansing. Let this be the day you walk away from the things you just can't afford to touch.