There is nothing like walking out to the mom-van on a Monday morning on-time and surrounded by the light fragrance of hairspray and perfume. Feeling pleased with myself, I opened the side door and was overwhelmed by the smell. I wasn’t expecting it, it wasn’t there on Sunday when we drove to church. What could it be!? My van smelled.
Not sure I could survive the 20-minute ride into the office, I quickly put the windows down, turned on the blower and began a quick search for the olfactory offenders. Maybe Eva had left some socks behind? She’s forever taking them off in the car (freeing her sweaty feet from the burden of coverings) or perhaps her younger sister had left behind a sippy cup. I just couldn’t quite place the smell.
“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?”
2 Corinthians 13:5 NIV
My life, like my mom-van, can sometimes get a little smelly too; overcome by the metaphorical equivalents to smelly socks and sippy cups soured by spoiled milk. If these offenders aren’t rooted out and removed in short order, their consequences can be far reaching.When my life, like my mom-van, gets a little smelly it's time to reevaluate #ExamineYourself Click To Tweet
When my life, like my van, gets smelly I need to figure out why. The deceiver is a sneaky one. At first there may be only subtle changes in my behavior or thinking and often, by the time I realize what has occurred, these once small aberrations have invaded several areas of my life. Whether I’ve given in to “stinking thinking”, criticism of my spouse, or am using the demands of work or children to justify bad behavior, I need to get to the heart of things. And, it really is a ❤️ issue. Amen?
But, it’s not enough for me to just identify the problem.
Stopping there is like rolling down the windows to air out the van while going 70 mph on the highway. The odor may dissipate, but as soon as I slow down and roll the windows up it’s back again.
If I want to survive the stench of a soured sippy cup and prevent it from permeating into other things I have to take action immediately. The same is true when we catch sin creeping into our lives. I must show the same determination and intentionality when it comes to rooting out sin that I showed when hunting for a suspected pair of smelly socks. Lysol spray might alleviate the immediate issue, but unless I find and remove the source, I’m still going to find myself stuck with a stinky van.
In 2 Corinthians, chapter 13, the Apostle Paul challenges the Corinthians to examine how they are living and the state of their spiritual life. His challenge is one that should be leveled to all believers. Each of us should consider how we are living. Do our words and deeds reflect a life of true faith? Or, have we relegated ourselves to the equivalent of living our lives from the back of a smelly van?
Just as I survive the stench of my car by removing the offensive items; we survive the stench of sin in our life by identifying the offending source. Then we confess it to our Father (who sees and knows it already) and remove those things that might draw us back. It is up to us to seek accountability as we attempt to live our lives in a manner that points others to God.
As I write this, it’s late Wednesday evening. We are almost four days in, and my van still smells. I’ve looked under seats and in glove boxes. My search has revealed a variety of things – none of which appear to be the source of the odor. But I haven’t quit looking and don’t intend to. Don’t you quit either.