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by Kathy Champagne Bailey


Throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception. (Ephesians 4:22 NLT)

    Couple of weeks ago I had the big job of throwing out spoiled food for “Trash Night.” It was a big job because... a) the refrigerator had broken down 3 weeks ago with the food in it, and b) trash night was postponed because of the holiday. I was washing some very disgusting dishes afterward, resenting the fact that I had to be a grownup, and reflected upon the following:

No matter how well food is covered or how cold the refrigerator/freezer is kept, food still stinks once it has “gone bad”!

    This got me to thinking... Our character defects, our sinful habits, are kinda similar. You can cover them with wrap, put them in a dish with a tight cover, shove them out of sight WAY to the back, but... they still stink!

    Why does food go bad? It is when food’s nutrients are contaminated by bacteria and then start to be consumed by that same bacteria. In other words, the food has outlived its usefulness and becomes corrupted. Preservatives only postpone the inevitable. But once it starts to “go bad” it’s rotten!

What’s rotten is rotten for all to see.
    Our character defect, may seem useful or fun for a while. It may appear to protect us from hurt, fill us up for a time, prevent us from feeling our hunger or from experiencing our empty reality. But eventually, the defect outlives its usefulness and sin begins to grow. It grows until it becomes unmanageable, glaring, obvious, harmful, and unmanageable. Preservatives? I know of a few “preservatives” that one may use (excuses, denials, rationalizations... but these “preservatives” only work for so long before the vile stinkin’ truth is really discovered. No one can ignore the decomposition of what may once have been quite palatable. What’s rotten is rotten for all to see.

    So the real question you and I are left with is really quite simple: what are we keeping hidden and under wraps that we don’t want known or seen? Yea, it might be quite nasty to clean it out, but remember, eventually the rotten stuff in the hidden corner of hearts always finds a way to make its stinkin’ presence known. Do we want to throw it out and let God cleanse and renew us, or do we want to wait until it makes us, and those around us, really sick?

Don’t blame God when you are tempted! God cannot be tempted by evil, and he doesn’t use evil to tempt others. We are tempted by our own desires that drag us off and trap us. Our desires make us sin, and when sin is finished with us, it leaves us dead. (James 1:13-15 CEV)
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