Typically, I am a colorful character, but when I paint, I am more colorful than ever — and I mean that literally. A few months ago, while painting at the dining room table, I somehow managed to knock over the water can that all my brushes had been cleaned in, so there I was with a huge wet mess soaking into my jeans and into my carpet faster than the speed of light.
Knowing what a klutz I can sometimes be, it would have been wise to have thrown down a tarp or something, but I had somehow managed to convince myself that I would not make a mess. I’m not even going to splatter any paint on myself this time, I said, with an optimistic bit of denial. Looking back, I can’t even imagine why I would have ever entertained such an unrealistic notion. Had I been honest with myself in the first place, I could’ve saved myself a lot of trouble.
What to do about that bright green spot? My first thoughts were OH NO! We’re going to have to replace the carpeting! I despise stains on the carpet, yet I suppose I could live with a small, inconspicuous spot here-and-there, given that our home is well lived-in. Even so, there is simply no way that I could live with a large field of bright green in the midst of my tan carpet, despite the fact that green is my favorite color.
Then again, I could have just splattered some white pedal shapes onto the green, then painted on some stems so that I could forever enjoy a nice field of poppies right there in my dining room (no, I’m not serious). Instead, I immediately grabbed my Bissell® Carpet Cleaner and started cleaning. I am happy to inform you that it worked! My green spot disappeared completely and my carpet returned to normal.¹
Had I waited very long, though, the stain would have set in and I would have had to devise a clever way to cover the unsightly stain since replacing the carpets would not have been financially possible at the time. Most likely, had I not gotten the stain out, I would have covered the area with a large, decorative rug. I would know what lay hidden beneath, but hopefully no one else would be the wiser.
Dear reader, you probably know where I am heading with this true, colorful tale, for it is a rather good analogy of sin.
Most of the time, we sin because we are not honest with ourselves and we convince ourselves that whatever we are getting ready to do won’t create us any problem at all. Of course, that type of thinking always gets us into trouble. And when it does, we have a big mess on our hands. We then have to make a decision to either deal with the sin immediately through repentance, thus allowing the Lord to wash our sin away, or to let the sin stay and soak in deeper. Just remember, if we choose the latter, the stain will set-in, leaving a permanent, painful mark on our souls, leaving us no choice then but to cover it up and hope no one ever gets a peek at what we have so carefully hidden.
Friends, we are at the beginning of a new year; what better time to examine our hearts and lives so that we can start this new year free from the burden of sin, giving our whole self completely to the Lord “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word….” (Ephesians 5:26) That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish (vs 27).
As for the people in your life, remember the old adage: You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.
When it comes to the Lord God, your Creator, you can not fool Him any of the time!
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:13)
¹note: I was painting with acrylics, which clean-up easily with water. Oil paints are not so easily cleaned.
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