Living with the Stain
By Eddie Jones
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empy way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect." - 1 Peter 1:18-19
Tide ran an ad during this past Super Bowl showing a young man interviewing for a job who had a stain on his shirt. As he spoke the spot on his shirt spoke too, only louder and in such an annoying way that it drowned out the young man's voice. The point of the commercial, I think, was to demonstrate how a single stain can interrupt a job interview, important sales call or Super Bowl potty break.
Sin is like that. Even the smallest blemish can destroy a reputation.
We download music illegally and then progress to burning copies of stolen software and DVDs. Men sneak a look down a woman's blouse, call it casual lust, and then slide into adultery. Women in the workplace gossip about the new secretary's character flaws, calling it constructive criticism, when really they're just complaining about how much time she spends on her phone cell and the way her bleached blonde hair doesn't match her naturally brown roots. Sin is never satisfied. It always wants more, craves a richer experience, because it ultimately wants all of you. There is no harmless sin, no victimless sin, because each offense destroys a little more of who we were meant to be. Sin is a smudge on our soul that separates us from God.
But there is another kind of stain and it speaks louder than all our combined sins. It is the blood stain of Christ.
As I watched that commercial I imagined myself standing before the throne of God as He asked; "Yo, Ed, what exactly did you think I meant by 'Thou Shalt Not?' and me running on with diarrhea of the mouth about how I didn't think what I was doing was really that bad while all the while that blood stain on my shirt would be shouting; "HEY DAD, DON'T WORRY ABOUT EDDIE. HE'S COOL, HE'S GOOD. I GOT HIM COVERED."
I don't know if I have my theology right on this but that's what I thought when I saw that commercial. And I pray to God that the blood stain of Christ on my dirty rags really means that the lamb without blemish was the perfect sacrifice.
Click here to watch the TIDE COMMERCIAL
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(aka Cover Your Backide)
-- SHE SAID
By: Cindy Sproles
In my youth, I attended a Bible College. Things were different in those days (1970's). The college had strict rules that students were required to adhere to, such as you could hold hands with your boyfriend but there had to be a considerable gap between your hand and his body (several inches, in fact). If you walked to the river to sit and chat, the gal sat on the river bank, but the guy had to stand. Guys were not allowed to have hair over their collars and girls were required to wear long-tailed shirts or sweaters over their slacks to cover their backside.
That brought a whole new meaning to C.O.B. (cover your backside). In fact, it was a real joke to the students at the college. There have been a lot of things over the years that I've done to cover my backside but worrying about my shirt being long enough was not on the list of priorities.
I was always taught to document everything I do at work. Why? To cover myself, assure I would never be questioned about my intentions or work. As a teenager, I remember my mother telling me if I ever felt like I was going to lose my temper, always tell someone in authority. Let them intervene before I passed the point of no return. For the record, I only lost my temper once in high school and I did forewarn the principal. When I smacked a guy across the head I had to pay to repair my clarinet, but I didn't get in trouble at school because I had told someone this guy was pushing me to the point of no return. I covered my backside.
When I gave my heart in baptism to the Father, I remember the minister saying, that my baptism was an obedient step and one that Christ himself took. But more so, it was a symbolic washing in the blood, an opportunity for the blood of Christ to cover me - or in simpler terms - he made my shirt tail longer.
I was covered in the blood at age 11, and 39 years later I still carry the crimson stains. I can't wash them off. Isn't that amazing? When Jesus willingly shed his blood on the cross He stained me red to cover me, a sacrifice that is hard to absorb at times.
I can say that He documented all my sin, made notes and then freely covered them in His blood so that the notes could no longer be read - rather they were RED. Yep, he did the C.O.B. thing for me. He stained me with his blood so that no one can read my sin. Covered over by the Blood (C.O.B).
So tell me, is your shirt long enough?