There’s white, and then there’s not-so-white.

It had been a while since my not-so-white car looked white.

If you had asked me, I would have still told you my car was white, because I hadn’t noticed the change. It was slow and subtle.

Just like a lot of things.

Even as I sprayed down the car, I would’ve said it was white.

Before I got out the soap and hot water and gave it a scrub, I would’ve insisted it was white.

It wasn’t until I got to the back bumper that I realized my car had not been white—-ever.

There had always been a streaky, funny looking stain on my bumper that had never washed off. From day one that I owned it. I didn’t know what it was, but I shrugged it off and got used to it, to the point I forgot about it and continued calling my car–including that brownish, yellowish section–“white”.

I don’t know what the difference was this time. Maybe it was the different detergent. Maybe it was the really hot water. Maybe it was the extra elbow grease. Or just that the umpteenth try did the trick.

Whatever the difference, all I know is this time as I scrubbed the cooked-on stains and bug remains off my bumper, I noticed those embedded streaks coming off, too. I wiped some more, and more came off. I was beyond thrilled, and disgusted, at the same time.

Why had I put up with that dirty bumper all this time?

Rather than insisting that the stains had to go in the first place, I let them stay, grew accustomed to it, and even began calling it clean.

This isn’t just about cars. Do you see this principle happening in your life? As a believer, never, ever compromise the truth and allow your cleansed heart to be tainted with the old stain of sin. It may not seem like a huge sin, or maybe it’s something you’ve always dealt with, so you think there’s no hope.

But if you invite it to stay there, and ignore the problem, pretty soon you’ll forget it doesn’t belong. You’ll forget what white really looks like and begin calling it “clean”.

In so doing you’re scorning the One who washed you white as snow, and the sacrifice He made in order to call you clean.

Don’t belittle the work on the cross. Examine yourself and see what you may have allowed back in, and then take it before the Lord.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Ps. 139:23-24

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