24 years ago.
That’s 288 months.
And if my math is right… it adds up to 8,760 days.
THAT is the expiration date of the bear-shaped bottle of clover honey I found in my pantry last weekend.
Oh my stars… that is insane.
I’m sure many of you are either laughing at me or dashing to your pantry to see if you can beat that date.
… I feel pretty confident I hold the record.
But here’s the interesting thing…
I’ve actually been intentional in cleaning out the pantry (no, really), checking dates and tossing things that have expired. I’ve even re-arranged what items go on what shelf several times in the past several years.
But somehow… I missed this.
And even though I thought I’d been good about tossing foods past their prime, this bottle of honey – shoved into the very back, dark corner of the shelf – sat undetected.
But you know what? This concept translates so perfectly to or lives.
While I’ve been diligent to dispose of some obvious rotten attitudes and actions… a few have managed to remain hidden.
Eventually though, they see the light of day.
Here’s what I mean…
I may choose to speak words of affirmation and encouragement, but now and then a “spicy” word or two slips out of my mouth in frustration.
I’ll decide not to watch certain TV shows because of language or content, but linger a bit too long on a different show that pushes the same limit.
I will resolve to follow God’s command to love others, but find exception with that one person who tests my patience (no, it’s not you).
Undoubtedly, those old sinful attitudes and actions have been around a long time. They’ve become habits. They are familiar responses and thought-patterns, so we tend to be blind to the sinful component of each.
Dude… you’ve got ’em, too.
And rest assured – they will be revealed.
As the Israelites were preparing to cross the Jordan River and battle for possession of the Promised Land, two tribes (Gad and Reuben) decided that rather than join in the battle with their brothers… they wanted to stay put and set up camp there instead. When they approached Moses with their plan, he wasn’t pleased.
He recounted the wrath of God when they’d refused to take Canaan after the spies (minus Joshua and Caleb) reported the inhabitants were too big and unconquerable. God’s punishment of 40 years in the desert was fresh in their memories.
Moses said in Number 32:23… “But if you don’t do this, you’ve sinned against the Lord. Know that your sin will find you.”
In other words: At some point… Expect consequences.
That truth still holds steady today.
Just like that 24-year-old bottle of honey, eventually God will open our pantry and reveal things that expired long ago and need to be thrown away… for good.
Sometimes we try to hide our sin.
Other times we may not realize it’s that big of an issue.
And some may miss it all together.
But God is gracious enough to point it out.
You see, He wants more for His children. Our Father loves us too much to leave us where we are. But it requires something of us.
It takes submission to His plan.
It takes some intentionality.
It takes willingness to look honestly at our “stuff.”
It requires allowing God to clean our pantries for expired things.
As Christ-followers, let’s be willing to toss out habits… attitudes… thoughts… words… and actions… that bring rot and decay into our lives.
Because honestly… we were created to live for so much more.
REALITY CHECK: What keeps you from letting go of your old ways and embracing the new life you have in Jesus?
© 2012 careyscotttalks.com
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