It was the long vacation during our days in secondary school. My dad sent home one of his assistants to get him a new shirt. My curious mind would not let him go without an explanation about why my dad needed a new shirt at work. He explained to me.

When Dad returned, I was waiting for him with a naughty pose.

Temi: Dad, why did you need a new shirt?

Dad: Oh! Ink splashed on the one I wore in the morning.

Temi: Back then in primary school, if I came back home with a stained shirt, what do you always say to me again?

Dad: I will tell you that you are careless.

I gave him a naughty look and picked race!

No one wants to keep strolling around in stained clothes. You are comfortable in an outing until you discover a tiny spot on your garment. That spot suddenly steals your attention and if not careful, your day. It seems as if everyone who is looking at you is seeing that spot. Sometimes, you point it out yourself. When people commend your appearance, you are quick to add, “It would have been great, but this spot here spoiled everything”.

That is exactly what the stain of sin does to us. It steals the show. Rather than come out clean and receive help, most people resort to what I call “reputation management”. That was what Judah and Hirah did also. They would rather say “lest we be shamed” rather than “lest we sin”.

Then he asked the men of that place, saying, “Where is the harlot who was openly by the roadside?” And they said, “There was no harlot in this place.” So, he returned to Judah and said, “I cannot find her. Also, the men of the place said there was no harlot in this place.” Then Judah said, “Let her take them for herself, lest we be shamed; for I sent this young goat and you have not found her.”

Genesis 38:21-23 NKJV

It was also the error of King Saul. Instead of admitting and dealing with his shortcomings, he said to Prophet Samuel:

Then he said, “I have sinned; yet honor me now, please, before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, that I may worship the Lord your God.”

I Samuel 15:30 NKJV

This is how we sound a lot of times after we mess up – “I have sinned, yet honour me now”.

Some men are like rolling fan blades but disconnected from the power source. They will roll for a while before the ailment of sin becomes obvious.

Oration has taken over where the oracles of God are meant to be speaking. Do not sacrifice character for reputation. Looking good before people is irrelevant when you no longer have a presence before the Lord. Packaging cannot take over purity. Proper homiletics cannot take over holiness. Good vocal sounds cannot take over from sound character.

That was not how Jesus prayed. Jesus knew that honour comes only when we have done God’s will.

I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

John 17:4-5 NKJV

If you are battling with sin, do not look for a cover where you can hide successfully. Talk to someone who can hold you accountable. If you are still trying to find a place where your ego is worshipped and your emotions are massaged, you are not ready.

Let the shame push you to the cross. Let it not become the reason for a cover-up! It is at home that you can get a new shirt. Do not run from home! Dirty bodies should not hate the bathroom. Dirty clothes should not despise the laundry. Dirty souls cannot despise the local church.

© temilOluwa Ola, Eruwa

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