Wednesday, June 2, 2004
I checked the bread drawer again the other morning. It's still there - not the bread drawer - I mean, the smell! See, our daughter was visiting, and she put a bagel order in with her aunt. She said, "I want an onion bagel!" See, somehow that onion bagel spent a few days in that bread drawer before it finally disappeared. Oh, the bagel's gone, but the smell is not! No, no, in fact, the taste isn't even gone. That little round stinker flavored every bagel in the drawer. They all taste like onion bagels now. I even had a bag of Starburst candies in the bread drawer. Even they taste like the onion bagel. Who would have guessed that one thing could stink up and flavor everything.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Stink Takes Over."
Well, our word for today from the Word of God comes from 2 Corinthians 7:1, where God says, "Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God." Now, God here gives us a pretty interesting standard for deciding what you will allow your body to do or what you'll put into your body, what you will allow your mind to take in. Will it contaminate me? Now, contaminate makes me think of, you know, a germ or a bacteria. It only takes this little guy to bring down a body that's much larger, or for some reason I think of an onion bagel.
See, there's no way to let it into that drawer without it infecting everything around it. That's why it really matters what you watch, and what you listen to, and what you read, and who you spend time with, and what you do for entertainment. Oh, you may think you can contain the trash that they carry. You say, "Hey, it's no big deal. I can handle this!" But, see, sin is highly infectious and you don't even know it's happening to you. What began as a passing thought ultimately becomes a desire, and desire ultimately becomes a sin you never thought you'd do. That's why the Bible says don't give the Devil a foothold. He wants you to think about it, then want it, then do it, and then pay for it. Maybe you're underestimating the corrupting and contaminating power of just a little compromise. You can't forget a dirty joke, a dirty picture, a powerful video image, a rumor about someone, a strong song about something that's wrong. So you can't afford to let that stink in, in the first place.
You may feel a little defensive about the input that you like, but just ask yourself a few questions about what you watch, and what you listen to, what you read, what you laugh at, and who you hang around with. Is it making me a little harder inside than I was? Am I having more sinful fantasies than I used to? Am I becoming a little more tolerant of sinful things than I ever used to put up with? Am I flirting mentally with some of the things that I know are wrong? Am I finding the good things less interesting and more boring? Is my heart getting a little colder toward Jesus?
Consider the power of contamination. You know why? Because in the verses preceding chapter 6, verses 16-18 say, "I live in you. You are my people. You are my sons and daughters. Don't touch any unclean thing." Do you know who you are? Then purify yourself from everything that contaminates.
Now, I've got a smelly bread drawer and I've got some onion-tasting candies to prove that a little bad influence can spread very quickly and spoil everything. If you're letting into your body or your mind anything that stinks spiritually, get rid of it now. It can ruin what you never meant for it to touch.