A good friend spoke to me about a recent problem that arose. Her dog was sprayed by a skunk (ewwww!), and her daughter thoughtfully bathed the dog many times with various potions but with little improvement. The smell was still strong when my friend went home but she managed to stay in the house anyway. In the morning she returned to work unknowingly smelling like skunk as her nose was partially desensitized. The skunk smell was strong enough in her house that it absorbed into the fabric of her clothing and other items she carried. I didn’t realize it would do that!
Lessons learned from life are always the most intriguing, so as I pondered my friend’s situation I started thinking about what else in life is as bad as skunk spray. There are certainly many possible parallels but I would like to write on only three.
Bad attitudes can be like skunk spray. If you are around someone who is spewing verbal garbage about others or just continues in negativity time after time, it can start leaving it’s scent on you and pretty soon you start ‘smelling’ too by speaking poorly of others.* We must be cautious of this. Pray for the person with the attitude, and if you are able and you think the time is right, you could try to speak to them about it. Perhaps they don’t even realize what they are doing.
Sin can be like skunk spray. If you are hanging out with people involved in specific sins, you may find these same sins may absorb into the fabric of your life. We must be careful to love and accept all people, but not tolerate their sin. Unfortunately, sometimes we don’t even understand that it has gotten into our lives until it is too late and we are thoroughly caught up in it.** The sin attaches to us like a bad smell. Sometimes we need to avoid certain people and that would include those who continue to cause stumbling blocks in our lives.
Worldliness can also be like skunk spray. This one is probably the most difficult to detect as it happens. We spend time with friends and family because we love them and want to be with them. Slowly, the scent of the world starts to permeate our ‘clothing and personal items’ (lives, personality, behaviours) and we don’t notice.*** Soon we are not spending the time with the Lord that we should though we know what is happening on our tv shows. We speed a little more because it’s not hurting anyone (we don’t consider the Lord), we pray less, eat more, hold back on offerings since it’s been a bad month, buy ourselves more toys, and our Bible begins to gather dust.
In the end, the lesson derived from this is to try not to get sprayed to start with. We need to exercise care in our lives and listen to our Shepherd’s voice when He tells us something. We need to learn to say no- to have boundaries with others and not allow the ‘smells’ of bad attitudes, sin and worldliness to permeate our lives. But when we do get sprayed we have the best 'Skunk Out' available in Jesus Christ, for His blood cleanses us white as snow. (Is. 1:8) He is able to save, heal and deliver us, and He brings liberty to our lives. (Gal. 5:1)
*Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. Rom. 13:8
** For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
*** And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind… Rom. 12:2