A Wisdom Retreat - August 20

Dirty Kisses

Romans 6:1-2
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?

A pastor wrote a rather interesting article in a minister's journal; it dealt with a problem in the bathroom of a middle school in Oregon. Girls were setting the precedent of pressing their lips to the mirrors after applying lipstick, leaving dozens of messy lip prints all over the glass.

When the principal declared that something must be done, she devised a rather ingenious plan and told the custodian exactly what to do. After summoning the girls and the custodian to the bathroom, the principal explained that the lip prints were causing a major problem for the custodian, and instructed that the girls stop the nasty practice that wasted his valuable time.

Of course, the girls were oblivious to this request and were irritated at having to meet with the principal—they didn't even try to hide it. Not being deterred, the principal continued with her scheme, and asked the custodian to show them how he had been cleaning the mirrors each day after school.

He promptly took out his long-handled brush, dipped it into one of the nearby toilets, and scrubbed the mirrors with the brush. The girls' mouths dropped open in shock. Not surprisingly, since that demonstration, the lip prints have never reappeared!

There is a valuable lesson to be learned from this story. Although sin may seem as innocent and harmless as kissing a mirror, we are often unaware of the vile and evil things lurking on the periphery—waiting to wreak havoc in our lives.

Have you ever said this to your kids: "Don't let that dog lick you on your face—you have no idea where she's been!" I try to warn them, but they never seem to connect the dots. In my case, I know whereof I speak—or should I say warn. We have a dog who loves nasty, yucky stuff! Whenever she gets loose in the horse pasture beyond our backyard fence, she rolls around in the grass—filth and all—just for fun. I watch her in utter disgust, but she pays no attention to my opinion of her personal hygiene.

You see, my dog has a serious problem with the way she thinks! Maybe that's okay for her . . . she's a dog . . . but for Christians to roll around in the filth of sin and thoroughly enjoy it is a completely different matter. There is something dreadfully wrong with the heart of a Christian who enjoys kissing dirty mirrors.

Paul warns the believer in this text "Don't call yourself a Christian if you are going to continue in a lifestyle of sin! Have you forgotten who you are? You are a child of the King—start acting like it!"

Paul is not saying that we will never sin, or that we will never fall at times, because we will. He is referring to people who love sin more than God. These are so-called Christians who overlook the passages in the Bible about refraining from deceit, pride, sexual immorality, slander, bitterness, and more, while holding on to their sin, rather than upholding God's standard.

Paul's point is simple: Christians have been saved from sin; they should refrain from "kissing" the world . . . including mirrors and dogs!

Prayer Point: Confess any sin that has been lingering in your spirit, whether it has been there for a few hours, months, or years. Pray the prayer of the psalmist who asked God to "search my heart and see if there be any wicked way in me, and blot it out."

Extra Refreshment: Romans 6

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Christianity / Devotionals / A Wisdom Retreat with Stephen Davey / A Wisdom Retreat - August 20