YOU CAN’T COVER STINK WITH STINK
When I was a teenager, Mom told me a story about her Mother and her sister. It seems that Mom’s sister was a teenager and this happened during the winter time. My Aunt did not bathe because she didn’t want to get cold. Now, I can tell you from experience as a child in that old farm house that it NEVER really got warm in the house. And bath time was dreaded! But I digress….
My Aunt, unwashed, was getting ready for school and she doused herself in perfume. Grandma told her… “You can’t cover stink with stink”. Just this one old family story has kept my mind active for years. I have always been intrigued with Grandma’s colorful, yet literal, statement. My mind could do no other that to relate this to the spiritual side of my being.
I, being as colorful as Grandma, have my own “stink” saying. Whenever I am thinking thoughts that are unkind, or I have behaved badly in a situation (Yeah….I’m human!), I say that I have a “stink in my spirit”… There is something about that word…”stink”… that seems to get my attention. That is why I use the word. I don’t want to gloss over any fact that I need a spiritual adjustment at times. That would be like saying I am right when I know I am NOT right! Stink is kind of an unpleasant word…but so effective in description. I like “Stinker” too…it is a fun word for me. So descriptive… you know? Oops…digressing again… “You can’t cover stink with stink” is interesting enough to provide a virtual playground for my mind.
When I have a “stink in my spirit”, I am never able to cover it over. It is there – it stinks – and shame on me if I think the Lord does not see my heart condition. It is during such times that I employ specific scripture to accomplish a necessary spiritual adjustment – an attitude adjustment, of sorts.
First, I often ask the Lord to search my heart and reveal to me the things HE finds to be displeasing.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxieties;” Psalm 139:23
Then I ask the Lord to create a clean heart in me…
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10
I go to God’s Word…
“I applied my heart to know, To search and seek out wisdom and the reason of things, To know the wickedness of folly, Even of foolishness and madness.” Ecclesiastes 7:25
I meditate and pray over God’s Word…
“I call to remembrance my song in the night; I meditate within my heart , and my spirit makes diligent search.” Psalm 77:6
I apply what I learn during my quiet time with the Lord - to my own life – thoughts and actions.
“Apply your heart to instruction, and your ears to words of knowledge.” Proverbs 23:12
Does my spirit stay “stink free”? No…for I am human. A thought, word or deed can cause a new stink. It is a never ending war that I have with this old flesh. But, I do know that I can’t cover “stink with stink”. So, I am ever in the Word of God for instruction and cleansing.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17