Jesus spent much of His three years of ministry sharing word pictures with all who would listen. Some asked what the parables meant, others shook them off as crazy. We think God still speaks to us in word pictures, or metaphors as we often call them.
We’ve decided to spend some time sharing different metaphors with you. Our hope is that the pictures described will help us see ourselves in a different light. The first one we heard from our pastor in yesterday’s service.
Imagine you’re out to dinner at a really nice restaurant with your spouse. The lights are dimly lit, the food is served hot and delicious. The conversation is just beginning to deepen when it happens; you spill something on your shirt! Your first thought is you’ll never get it out! All attention is given to get the stain out as quick as possible.
Why are we so quick to remove a stain from our clothes, but tolerate stains on our hearts?
John Owen said, “Be killing sin, or it will be killing you.”
How true. Consider lust. It is never satisfied. It’s not something we can control. By God’s grace the only thing we can do to be free from its grip is to kill it. We are called to put off the old man and his ways:
- sexual immorality
- evil desire
- covetousness (idolatry)
Our culture dresses up on Easter Sunday, but God isn’t interested in how we dress on the outside. He wants us to be more concerned about what’s on the inside in our hearts. He wants us to be clothed with:
(cited from Colossians 3)
Our pastor continued, “Many times our old man and new man hang out together. They shouldn’t. Is Christ your life? Then, consider – Jesus doesn’t slander; Jesus doesn’t gossip; Jesus doesn’t harbor bitterness; Jesus doesn’t hide sin. Old ragged clothes that don’t fit us anymore should be tossed. Like “old clothes,” anger doesn’t fit us anymore, because Christ has set us free to live a new way, a new life, as a new man.”
Think of how our marriage could be changed if each of us went after the old man in our heart and put on the new man each and every day. This is Christ at work in us, our hope of glory.
We want to finish with this question–Do you excuse yourself from going after sins in your own heart because your spouse isn’t going after the sin in their heart? If so, know that you’re nursing sin, not killing it. Let us examine our own heart and be willing to go first. This is where lasting change is cultivated, one stain at a time.