I went to go put on a shirt the other day. Well, I guess I do that every day, but the day I’m thinking of was Saturday. We were headed down to my aunt’s house for the annual family BBQ and I wanted find the perfect shirt. I needed something that served multiple purposes: it needed to tell the story of my past year; it needed to be comfortable to wear in the car; it needed to be light colored so as to be comfortable in the sun. The shirt I chose was my very light cream colored (almost, but not quite white) Tommy Bahama shirt.
Normally I wouldn’t have a Tommy Bahama shirt, but because my good friend Pastor Mark has lost about a gajillion pounds this year, I’ve been the recipient of his hand-me-downs, and the man dresses well!😜 Anyhow, I decided on this shirt because it seemed to meet the criteria point for point. Everything was going great until it came down to the time when the food was put out. Me eating from a plate on my lap in a light colored shirt doesn’t exactly scream success. I did fantastic on my first plate, but when I went back to get some (more) fruit salad my true talents presented themselves and splat, a blueberry fell from my fork and rolled down my chest leaving behind it a beautiful purple trail of remembrance.
I was left with a choice to make: what do you do with a stained shirt? Some people would suggest throwing the shirt out; some would wear it with pride; some would cover the stain with more clothing; some would stain the rest of the shirt so that the original stain was hidden; some would wash the stain out. I chose the latter.
A similar thing happened when Jesus was hanging out and his Paul got stained. Big choice to make here. Many people screamed to just throw him out. Others suggested that the sins that Paul commits are who he is and that he should just live and let live. There were those who thought that Paul’s sins could be covered by a bunch of new behavior that would cover the old ones without actually removing them. At one point Paul even thought that maybe going nuts and sinning all the time was a good answer, it’s hard to tell one sin from another if they’re everywhere. It’s cool that Jesus had the “New and Improved” Covenant to use though. It turns out that it DID get those stains out, and returned Paul to the “white as snow” status!
When we sin, we should look at ourselves as that shirt. A stain or blemish is not a good reason to throw out the entire article. As I work my steps I can see Jesus doing my laundry. I suggest you let Him do it for you too. 24 hour service, no coins needed, fluff-and-fold included!