Like Burnt Plastic and Old Broccoli

My daughter has learned some critical lessons over the past few weeks which in turn has taught me some critical lessons. Number one: if you ask Mommy how long to warm something up, be sure you are talking about the same method. She asked me how long she should warm her hash brown patties up. I always warm them up in the toaster oven so I said five minutes on each side. While I was in the bathroom getting ready, she set the timer (on the MICROWAVE) for five minutes in my good Tupperware. When she saw the smoke she came to the bathroom to ask me if I was sure it needed to be cooked that long. When she mentioned smoke and burning, I high tailed it into the kitchen. I was confused when I saw the toaster oven was empty, and then my heart sank when she pointed to the microwave. By God’s grace we avoided a disaster; we were probably about thirty seconds away from a fire. The hash brown had melted into the blackened plastic. How could I have not specified the toaster oven – what am I, a rookie??? I immediately opened the windows and the garage. I took the Tupperware outside and placed it on top of the dumpster to cool down. We had the door and the windows open for several hours to make sure the smell was gone. Eventually, I was satisfied that the smell was mostly gone, and I closed everything up. Later, we left the house for a few hours and the whole incident was forgotten. However, when we returned home we were overwhelmed with the smell of burnt plastic when we opened the door. I was shocked at how strong it still smelled considering I thought it was gone when we left the house earlier.

Lesson number two my daughter learned: Do not throw old broccoli into a brand new kitchen trash bag. My darling daughter took some broccoli out of the fridge to eat (my kids love broccoli – it’s weird I know) and I said it was probably a little old now so we needed to throw it away. Before I could tell her to put it in an old grocery bag so we could put it straight into the dumpster, she had already thrown it into the kitchen trash bag which had just been changed. I told her that the reason I didn’t want her to do that was because it can start to smell, and it would be a few days before that trash bag needed to be changed out again. She said, “oops” and we went about our business. The next day I went for a run early in the morning before anyone was up. When I came back home it smelled like a dirty diaper. I saw my husband changing my son’s diaper and figured that was the source of the smell and dismissed it. We had a wedding to go to that morning so I started getting myself and everyone else ready. Right before we were ready to leave, I realized the smell was actually coming from the kitchen trash and I remembered the broccoli. Well at that point we were all too dressed up to take out the trash so I figured we could take care of it when we got home. We left the house at 9 am, went to the wedding, followed by a meeting at church, and got home by 9 pm. We opened the door and immediately started wrinkling our noses. The broccoli smell had gotten way worse in the last 12 hours. The kids started running around gagging dramatically, and I ran to the trash and threw it out while reminding them that, “This is why we don’t throw old broccoli out in the kitchen trash can if it’s going to sit.” Why didn’t I just throw out the trash immediately after my daughter had thrown the broccoli into it? Why didn’t I make the time this morning when I noticed it was starting to stink?

Such is the case with unrepentant sin. When we knowingly or even accidentally sin, it can produce some guilt and discomfort at first. However, when we don’t repent or seek God’s help we get so used to it that we forget it is a sin to begin with. Then one day, God opens our eyes (or our nose) to the ugliness of our sin and we see (smell) just how putrid it really is.What sin are you allowing to rot in your own kitchen? Are others made to suffer with it because you don’t feel like dealing with it now? Sin always has consequences – that’s just the nature of sin.

Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. | James 1:15

Alternatively, you have the option to face facts. God is clear about what He considers to be sin. Sin is not only when you do bad things, but it’s also when you fail to do what is right. If you can admit your sin to Him with a repentant heart, He tells us that He will provide us with forgiveness.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. | 1 John 1:8-10

In the same way you can get used to the smell of burnt plastic, sin is so deceptive that what should be offensive can seem normal. Additionally, like leaving old broccoli to stink up your kitchen and eventually the entire house, sin permeates beyond just yourself and affects everyone around you.

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