What’s That Smell????

IMG_4545.JPGI was watching “That 70’s show” yesterday, I love that show! In one of the episodes Kelso had a fish put in his hubcap by two of his buddies. The joke being that he would be able to smell the stinky, know it’s a problem, but not know where it was coming from. So he blamed the smell on everywhere he went. Very funny episode. But not without a life lesson.
We can have, in fact most of us do have, people in our life who have done things to us. They abandon us, lie to us, abuse us, cheat on us, lie about us, and more. And that can leave a stinky smell on us. The residue of hurt and betrayal can liger for years. Most of us, my self included, have many layers of residue on our bodies, hearts and spirits. This leaves us walking around smelling but not sure where the smell is coming from. It leaves us blaming the smell on everyone else, wherever we go. You know it’s true, we meet someone and they do one little thing “wrong” and we blast them for it. We then blame them for our “stinky” attitude. It’s them, not me. If only they would act right. I know I’ve been there.
I remember when I first walked into a Celebrate Recovery group in my church. There were brochures on a table letting you know what hurts, habits, and hang ups, they were there to help you get rid of. I remember thinking, “I don’t have any of these issues, I just need to forgive others for the stuff they have done wrong.” I picked up a brochure on anger. I thought “I’m not angry.” But the first 5 lines in the brochure begged to differ. That’s all I read because I put it down stunned. It hit me “I’m an angry person.” I had been acting and doing things that I blamed on others behavior. But it was I who needed to change. I needed to wash off the stink of anger. Eventually I had to realize that the only common denominator in all my relationships was me. I had to find the cause of my stink. Find and acknowledge the cause of me pushing others away with my stench of past hurts. This was a painful, complicated, long process. In fact it’s an on going process. But so worth the effort.
People are going to hurt you, they are going to hurt me. But we have the choice of whether we live hurt or not. We have the choice of carrying it around with us, allowing it to leave a smell on us. Or we can forgive and let it go. A heart, mind, and spirit cleansing, is how you can look at it. Just as when we go to Christ and accept Him in our heart and ask for forgiveness for our sins we are cleansed, we can also be cleansed when we forgive others. Even though some of the time they don’t ask for forgiveness. That’s okay. You don’t even have to tell them you forgive them if that’s not possible for you. (Though I suggest you do if at all possible. This opens the door for healing on both sides.) But either way you still get the cleaning benefits of forgiveness! This is not saying it’s okay what they did, it’s simply saying you don’t have power over me anymore. I refuse to stink up the rest of my life with the trash you put on me.
Trust me when I say I know this is not easy. But living our best life is not possible without doing it. Go to God. Tell Him how much trouble you are having. Ask Him to help you, to soften your heart and mind. Ask Him to show you how. After all God is the master of forgiveness. He has already done it for you and for me as Christ followers. Having healthy relationships of any kind depends on this. We have got to stop blaming everywhere we go and everyone we meet for our issues. For our smell. Not that it’s not there due to someone. But I think you can agree with me that most of the time, the person or persons we are mistreating due to our stink, usually are not the ones who put it on us. So we have to take responsibility for our own selves. Our own issues. We have to take our hubcaps off and uncover our own reason(s) for the stink following us.

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