I have an old family friend named John. John had a skunk problem.
A skunk sprayed his dog, so John told his boy to wash the dog. The skunk smell rubbed off on John’s son, so John got a call from the principal’s office:
“Sir, would you please pick up your boy. He’s making everyone at school sick.”
The skunk problem did not end with that one spray job.
The skunk kept coming back around, and his dog kept getting hit by it. John decided to take decisive action.
Let me preface the rest of this by saying that John is a banker, not a hunter. That might explain his decision. Rather than kill the nuisance, John chose to trap it. He got a varmint trap from the county and somehow managed to catch his enemy.
John was so proud of himself that he had to show his wife. He carefully picked up the cage with the skunk still in it, and brought it to the front door. When Mrs. Farley opened the door and saw John proudly holding his trap with the skunk inside she screamed out loud.
This scared the skunk, which promptly sprayed Mrs. Farley, who was still in the house.
Unfortunately, not all of the spray hit her, and much of it was deflected into the living room.
The last I heard, John was sleeping outside and Mrs. Farley was at the Holiday Inn!
Sometimes when I want to understand the implications of harboring some secret sin, the Holy Spirit reminds me of John’s close encounter with the skunk. Toying with sin is like playing with a skunk. It gets on you and on your children. It messes up the marriage and smells up the house. Trying to trap it or toy with it will invariably stink everything up.
God does not want your life to reek with sin. He wants you to stay pure. That’s why he told us about sin. It isn’t that he’s some sort of cosmic killjoy! He designed you, and he knows what’s best for your life. He also knows how we can tend to stink things up.
Ephesians 5:1-2 says this:
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.