I used to make this analogy with the college students. Imagine the best cookies you have ever had.....fresh out of the oven. The aroma calls to you..... it lingers. Your mouth waters. You have your milk ready as your anticipation builds. You know the best of ingredients have been used. You know these cookies were baked to a perfect golden brown. But before you take a bite you are given one last piece of information. The master chef tells you a tiny amount of feces was added to the cookie mix.........he quickly explains that it is so small you probably wouldn't even be able to tell a difference.................................How good do those cookies seems now? Its hard to reconcile the two, isn't it? The bad spoils the good even when the good comes in massively larger quantities.
Smells are this way too......baking bread makes my mouth water......baking bread with a touch of spoiled milk does not. It just takes a little leaven to work through the whole dough. Which is in fact one of the primary concepts behind Jesus' teachings of the leaven of the Pharisees and the need for unleavened bread.....pure and undefiled. We need lives of purity to offer to God. It doesn't matter that we are mostly good. You can't be mostly holy. You either are or you are not. When we think our 99.99% holiness is somehow acceptable its the same as thinking pure sugar is OK with a little bit of funk mixed in. I happen to think it is possible for people to live Godly lives 99% of the time by the power of the Spirit but ......who cares? I mean, don't get me wrong, 99% godly is better than 90% godly, but neither is worth patting ourselves on the back about. Both still put us at God's mercy. We still need his grace.
Sometimes we think we can cover up our stink with a whole lot of good. It just doesn't work that way. To enjoy the good the bad has to be taken away. Enter Jesus' death and resurrection.
Not to change the subject but I hung out with my grandmother for her birthday today. Even after telling her about my experiment she kept telling me how good everything smelled. I don't know if she just forgot or she was messing with me.
And why do people ask you to take a whiff of things that smell horrible? Its kind of a weird phenomenon. We don't usually do that with other things. Hey, Suzie, I accidentally stapled my hand this morning. It about made me cry. Come here and let me staple your hand so you can see how it feels..............Suzie:.NO WAY!!!! ..........Me: Well at least come over here and tell me if you think this smells like something died.........Suzie: OK, I'll be right over.
“Fish and visitors smell in three days.” Ben Franklin