Tuesday, March 11, 2008

If the Stains a-Talkin', Which Way are You Walkin'?

One of my favorite commercials is the one where the guy is in a job interview and has talking stain on his shirt. The interview is going horribly because every time the guy tries to talk, the stain starts yelling gibberish, causing a distraction and making it impossible for the potential boss to hear what the man is saying.

I believe that we all carry around these proverbial “stains” that can interfere with our communication and relationships. This can be an especially big problem when we’re attempting to introduce people to Jesus and share His good news. James 3:10-11 tells us why, “Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?” These so-called stains are distractions because they are inconsistent with the good message we are trying to send.

Some stains are caused by a lack of integrity. When we tell little white lies, make excuses or exaggerate truths to make ourselves look better, it will be hard to convince others that you want to share the Truth with them.

Maybe your stain is caused by a judgmental and unloving attitude. Paul tells us in Corinthians that a message delivered without love sounds like nothing more than a clanging symbol.

Immorality is a particularly messy stain. How can you expect to deliver a message of purity and light when your heart and mind dwell in places that are so dark and impure?

There are many other kinds of stains out there… addiction, anger, pride, greed just to name a few.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that we have to be perfect. If that were true Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection were pointless. However, I do think we need to be aware of our stains, acknowledging to others their presence in our lives. Pray that God will point them out to you and then allow him to help you work to remove these stains from your life. There truly is no better way to show Jesus to others than to allow them to see the real you, flaws and all, and then witness the transforming power of Christ in your life for his Glory.