On Sunday, I chopped up four cloves of garlic for my garlic mashed potatoes. Today is Wednesday and the smell of garlic still lingers on my hands. I’ve washed them thoroughly but the odor remains. Friends have offered some suggestions as to how to take the smell away. Rub hands on stainless steel. Squeeze real lemon juice on my hands. The suggestions seem to work for a short time, but then the next day, the smell returns. In fact, a whiff of garlic drifts from my keyboard as I type this post. It seems to be taunting me…Woo hoo, I’m still here. One friend recommended that for future garlic clove cutting, I need to invest in stainless steel soap. I think that’s a good idea.
Yesterday, I thought about how this garlic situation is similar to the sin situation in our lives. We can tidy our lives up. We can say the right things. We can do the right things. And, to the rest of the world, we look pretty darn good. But no matter what we do to clean ourselves up, this truth remains; a heart not cleansed by Christ’s work on the cross will be like my garlic smelling hands. Others might not be able to see the sin…but it’s there. And, no amount of cleaning, no amount of effort on our part can completely fix the problem.
Paul reminds us in the Book of Romans that “no one is righteous-not even one.” He goes on to tell us that there is one solution to this “odor” in our lives.
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. (Romans 3:23-24 NLT)
I am thankful that sin does not have to rule over our lives. We have a choice! Because of His work on the cross, the power of sin is gone and left in its place…the sweet aroma of God’s grace.
Can you smell it?