Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Stench of Paint Thinner and Guilt

They’ve been piled on top of the dryer for a month now, the turquoise tee that's just my color and my last pair of comfortable jeans.  They speak to me every time I put in a load of wash, “It’s not that hard.  Just get out the paint thinner and take our stains away!” But I drowned out their accusing whispers. 

“Hush,” I say. “I’ll deal with you when I want to.  I hate the smell of paint thinner!”  So there they sit, reminding me of my own selfishness, my embarrassment at my lack of gumption, my shame that I even went so far as to pick up two pairs of thrift store pants to avoid them. 

Still, yesterday their cries were louder and more haunting.  I can't get them out of my ears.  “Doing all you can to avoid what stinks?  You know that what stinks worst of all is inside of you!” 

“Hush, hush!  Let me be!” I cry, but I fall to my knees, broken.  Humbled.  It’s true.  There are piles of stained laundry in my heart.  Some might call them filthy rags.  The cleanser is there, but I don’t want to smell the stink of the revelation, to feel the ache of the process of change.   

I don’t, but I do.  My new man fights with my old man.  “Be new!”  “It’s not worth it!” “It’s been accomplished already” “Lies!  The cost will be too great!”   Back and forth, back and forth they alternately whisper and scream, offering peace then stealing joy.

So I run to the only place I know to silence the struggle.  To truth.  To Him.  I need to hear His voice.  Desperately. 

He speaks.  “You did right to barge into My presence.  Just think how My son’s blood has purified your heart so that you can worship Me.  His blood has made you clean.  You are perfect forever, even though you are still being made holy! ”

Unlike the stink of paint thinner, His perfect cleansing is sweet and soothing because it carries with it no condemnation.  It’s devoid of the acrid, disdainful stench of guilt.  The smell that I had feared so much wasn't the cleanser at all, it was my own guilt.  

When you've been made perfect, there's no need to fear being made holy.

Scripture: Hebrews 9:14, 10:2, 14, 19-22


Brenda said...

Good analogy. Thanks for the reminder.

Tim and Susan said...

I have been blessed studyin old man (woman) is crucified with Christ and dead to sin. Oh, how Satan wants us to think differently. Over and over I need to remember WHO I AM IN CHRIST!!

Pete said...

"When you've been made perfect, there's no need to fear being made holy. "

I love this line. Unfortunately, our position in Christ doesn't remove our natural tendencies toward fear. Also, the process of being made holy is often quite painful, even when we fully cooperate with God in the process (a rare time indeed). Sometimes I think we fear the pain more than anything else.


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