October 21st 2015 (3) comments so far
Last week, I made a mistake. (Well, I made hundreds, but one is of note today.) In my haste after work one night, I left a Tupperware of half-eaten, creamy pasta sitting in my kitchen sink—and I didn’t find it until the following evening. The lid was still on, so thankfully, I was not confronted with its stench. Yet.
Naturally, I was afraid to open that container, because I knew the smell would be awful. So what did I do? Did I hold my nose and clean it, braving the mess at once? If I had, there would be no story here. No, I left that container closed in the sink, saying to myself one of the great lies among humankind: “I’ll deal with it tomorrow.”
For a week’s worth of tomorrows, that pasta sat festering in my sink. With my roommate out of town, certainly nobody else was going to clean it for me, but that also meant I was the only one who knew about it. So it was entirely my choice to clean it or leave it alone. I chose the latter. But decay can only stay enclosed for so long. Finally, the smell of decomposing pesto wafted out of my sink, begging to be loosed from its flimsy cage.
Finally forced to confront my mess, I lifted the lid. I almost passed out from the odor and the fuzzy globs of sauce. While triple-bagging the trash and flooding the sink with lemon soap, I had to admit the obvious—this would have been so much easier if I had dealt with it right away.
So why am I telling you about my embarrassing dirty dishes? Trust me, the point is coming. The pastor of my college ministry used to say, “If you mess up, tell me. If you mess up bad, tell me fast.” He applied this primarily to secret sin—anything that stews under the surface—and the phrase has always stuck with me. I have found that if we hide our sins, their impact grows like bacteria in the deep, dark places of our souls. Even small sins, when not unpacked, eat away at us over time. Shame and guilt swarm like flies, and our fear of exposure worsens each day.
But our Lord calls us to confess our sins, no matter the mess. That may be easy to accept, but what truly astounds me is this—He forgives us every time. Believers have no reason to fear His wrath if we lay our muck at the foot of the cross. 1 John 4:18 reads, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
If we open up to receive God’s love and forgiveness, we never have a thing to fear. All our junk, all our stinking mess is washed away at once in the blood of Jesus, buried in His tomb, and forgotten in the purity of His resurrection. That’s better than triple-bagged trash and suds; that is complete purification.
In light of this, why would we wait to confess? Why hide and let ourselves rot when He is faithful to forgive and cleanse us this minute?
With the memory of foul fettuccini in my mind, I beg of you—let your messes be cleaned at once. Though it is never too late to ask His forgiveness in this life, there is no reason to wait for the peace His purification brings. Deal with it now. His love awaits you.
Written by Patricia Krecklow
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