The other day as we walked through the upstairs hallway there was an unfamiliar odor tickling our noses. At first, we couldn’t pinpoint the source. A quick look and sniff didn’t reveal anything out of the ordinary. As I stood there in the hallway, I began to hear a small clicking noise coming from the cordless vacuum leaning in the corner and suddenly the source of the smell became apparent. A stink bug had been sucked into the vacuum cleaner and it was not happy! Sucking a live stink bug into the vacuum is not the way to rid us of the smelly little creatures.
Stink bugs are a daily occurrence in our house. It’s not a huge problem, but one seems to pop up somewhere in the house every day. I’m not really bothered by them and usually try to ignore them unless they are crawling over my head or flying into the lampshade beside my chair, reminding me that they are still here. Whenever they do become bothersome, we try to gently capture them and put them outside, so they don’t release that odorous smell in the house. Out of sight, out of mind as they say. Until it finds a way back in.
Sometimes I think sin in my life is like that stink bug. It’s not that I have a big problem with sin but one (or more) seems to pop up in my life every day. A wrong thought or attitude. A careless word. Discontentment. Complaining. Holding a grudge, well, you get the idea. The trouble is, I’m not always bothered by it. It’s like I gently push it away, out of sight, out of mind. But it’s never gone. It always finds it’s way back to my thoughts and if I don’t take care of it properly by confession and repentance, it starts to stink. It gives off a very unpleasant odor in my life that is unappealing to others and displeases my Lord. I need to deal with it in the proper way.
I really don’t want the “stink” of sin to be what flows from my life and turns people away from Christ. I’d rather have “…the sweet fragrance of the knowledge of Him” (2 Corinthians 2:14c) flowing from my life, drawing others to Christ.
Grace and peace,
NOTE: Pastor Pam Sutherland’s pastorates include the St. Paul United Methodist Church in St. Paul, Virginia and the Fort Gibson United Methodist Church in Castlewood, Virginia.