Friday, May 17, 2013

Did Something Die in the Fridge?

When I opened the fridge this morning, a nasty odor assaulted my senses.  I grabbed the bag of coffee grounds and the milk, and quickly closed the door, as if to contain the rottenness.   I desperately needed a mug of caffeine before I could even muster up the courage to investigate.  As Miss Clavel says in the children's book Madeleine, "Something is not right!"  I just didn't know if I was up to a death in the fridge, so early in the morning.

From past experience, I know that the obvious culprit is not always the most likely suspect.  The olfactory offender is typically something lurking in the back, something untouched, an item unnoticed that has been residing all too long, out of sight, out of mind, but now, in its inedible state, screaming for attention.  The forgotten makes its presence known, no longer able to be ignored.  Phew.

As I worked my way through the shelves and drawers, examining the little plastic containers embracing leftovers, I thought about those uneasy feelings when I know in my own heart, "something is not right."  I can choose to ignore a stinky situation, or choose to work my way through attitudes gone bad, bitter roots that have taken on a life of their own, a half-eaten container of rebellious thoughts, rotten behaviors hiding behind lame excuses, and the stench of selfishness which permeates everything. Oh, and don't forget the critical words I should never have uttered, a juicy bit of gossip, and a large portion of nagging, which is easy to nibble on.  In the mix, of course, are good things too, but now tainted by a ferocious smell.

The biggest culprit is usually something in my life that is not manifesting the love of God, nor His grace.  And I have no one to blame but myself, hoarding that which has long-passed its expiration date, holding onto pride which only grows rancid by the minute, refusing to forgive, or pushing aside opportunities to heal relationships.  Do I look at wrongdoing as that which is putrid, impacting everything else in my life?

One thing I know, the nastiness doesn't go away on its own.

What do I need to make it right again?

--Keep short accounts.  Don't store resentment, hurt feelings, or gather up ammunition for future conflicts.
--Hold only onto what is good.  Bitterness does not become better over time.  Forgive before it really becomes a stinky problem.
--Live above reproach.  Nothing hidden in recycled butter tubs is truly forgotten, and harboring wrongdoings doesn't make them go away.  Glass containers reveal their contents. provide a sense of accountability, and don't let me ignore what is really going on. 
--Identify the source of the stench, and accept your responsibility. It is not just someone else's problem.
--Repent.  "I'm sorry."  Clear it out before God and those offended.  And make it right.
--God forgives our iniquities "as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us." (Psalm 103.12)   Leave them there.
--God makes all things new.  Know it.  Live it.  Let Him redeem it. "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold the new has come." (2 Corinthians 5.17)

For we are the aroma of Christ...

                      2 Corinthians 2.15

(that which is good, gracious, loving
  and kind)

No comments: