In the “I Am” series, Pastor Craig talked about how do we deal with the stain of sin in our life. It was a small part of the sermon but I thought it was such a powerful illustration.
Have you ever been on your way to meet someone and you noticed that you have a stain on your clothing? No matter what you do en route or once you arrived, the stain is still there. So what happens for the entire time you are with the other person? You focus on the stain. You think that is all that he or she sees when they look at you. You think about how irresponsible they think you are because you didn’t even notice that you have a stain on your clothing that you should have taken care of already. You see them look time and time again at the stain and just slightly shake their head. What P. Craig brought out so well in his sermon was how we have the same reaction to sin in our life. Run the same scenario with sin and you get the same results.
Let me tell you a different stain story. I was early in my ministry at the age of twenty-three and we had a pastor come visit our pastoral team. He was an older gentleman who sketched some teaching principles with his well-used fountain pen before putting it in his shirt pocket beneath his jacket. A few minutes into his teaching, the pen began to leak ink. I was at a perfect angle to see the first drop of blue seep into his shirt. He was teaching full steam so I didn’t want to stop him. As the drop began to flow and spread slowly, my mind raced to all the things I could say to him. I stayed quiet. It was bigger than a quarter and my arm quivered to reach out and stop him. I stayed quiet. It was blossoming into a small sand dollar and I looked around, but no else could see it. It was up to me…and I sat there. The look on his face as he pulled it out the second time told me everything. I saw his stain and did nothing to stop it. The person I am today would have stopped him the moment I saw the first dot. Why not then? I was afraid. I didn’t want to embarrass him or myself. I didn’t want to take action. I looked for someone else to stand up.
If someone else has a stain, we need to speak up, take action and help him or her out.
A stain is usually the result of an accident. They happen all the time. What will you do the next time you see one?