I can spray a whole can of aerosol Fabreeze in there and it still smells. I bought one of those scent things that hangs from your rear view mirror and it was used up about five minutes into its journey. Deb's car on the other hand still smells new even though it is several years older. You see, she is not a sweater and she is not a catcher.
Seems like a strange introduction to my blog, but half the battle to the journey of the sinner is the realization that they are odorous in the sight of an Almighty God. We are currently studying in the Sermon on the Mount at church (Matthew 5-7). The first part of the sermon is the Beatitudes. Beatitudes literally mean "happy". But they sure don't sound happy.
- Blessed are the poor in spirit
- Blessed are those who mourn
- Blessed are the gentle
- Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
- Blessed are the merciful
- Blessed are the pure in heart
- Blessed are the peacemakers
- Blessed are those who have been persecuted
The first four are self-assessment. They in essence say, I am a stinker. It is the one who completes the self-assessment and says that I need a holy and righteous God to remove the contamination of my stinkiness. That is the meaning of what the prophet Isaiah writes "though our sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow"(1:18). I need to come clean before God. To God, my stinkiness problem, when acknowledged in faith plus trust in Christ, is not only neutral but even sweet smelling. I still have the new car smell so to speak.
I bring this up because our culture wants to constantly say we are all right and we can make our own way. Saying I am ok enough times does not make me ok. This is not a healthy self-image. I am bound to disappoint myself no matter how many self-help books I might read. Don't get me wrong - we all have fascinating potential and I am an avid reader of authors like the late Stephen Covey. But my self-image must start with the flaws that I have. The amazing things can happen with a flawed sweaty guy.