Have You Become Nose Blind?
I try to be a good son and stop by my mom's house once or twice a week to say hello. About a month ago, I visited her house for a routine visit of playing with the dog, Cupcake, and rummaging through the refrigerator. I gave my mom a goodbye hug and left to head back to my house. As I was leaving, my mom, in a very concerned tone, asked me, "Did you put on any deodorant today?" I didn't think much of it. I just sort of murmured something and got in my car to head home. Her question did make me wonder how bad I was smelling and how I was not able to recognize my own stench. It made me think to myself, "I wonder how long I've been walking around smelling."
Before I go on, I feel obliged to note that I don't stink on the regular (at least as far as I can tell). I have been using natural deodorant for a year or so now, and the last batch I made cause a severe rash and breakout. I figured that I would go a couple of days of using only coconut oil so that my underarms could heal. Apparently, this bright idea wasn't as effective as I figured it would be.
Now that we have that clear, fast forward to a few weeks after that. I went to the cleaners to have one of my favorite suits cleaned. Just as I was handing the young lady my pants, I noticed that they began to fray on the backside. All I could wonder was, "Man, how long have I been walking around with my pants like this and I didn't even know it?"
The first thing that the Lord dropped in my spirit was self-examination. The Lord was communicating to me that I thought I was so clean and put together because I was not practicing any overt sin. However, inwardly, I had some sin that was outright funky and causing me to fall apart in some areas, spiritually. This type of self righteous mindset is disgusting to God because he can discern the heart and the stench of sin:
Isaiah 1:13-14 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.
He'd much rather let us come to Him and get cleaned up than to not address the stank areas of ourselves that we can so easily ignore. Naturally, the question that arises is, how is it possible to walk around smelling and not even be aware?
How Is This Even Possible?
The answer is simple. We become nose blind. Nose blind is a very real phenomenon. When you are constantly exposed to a certain smell, it becomes so familiar to you that you no longer notice it. For example, a cat owner may become completely oblivious to the smell of cat in his or her home. However, the cat smell will hit a visitor in the face as soon as they enter.
See, when something has been with you for a long time, you become unaware. Many of us have certain sins, behavior patters, contaminated mindsets, and familiar spirits that have been with us so long that we have become spiritually nose blind. These blind spots are things that others may notice, but they are so ingrained in our lifestyles that we never see a need for correction. In some instances, others may not even notice them, but God is fully aware of the stench we are carrying. The word of God reminds us of this in Jeremiah 17:10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
This brings us back to our solution: self-examination. Paul admonished the church at Corinth to do just this:
2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? Paul was addressing the sin behavior of a church that was also accusing him of being weak compared to his boldness in his letters. Before we address the behavior of another, we must make sure that we are washed and purified by the Lord.
We cannot do anything faith related on our own strength, so our method of self-examination is partitioning the Holy Spirit to search us and reveal any areas of our lives that are impure. This prayer is a must for any believer who desires to walk pleasing in the sight of the Lord. The way we maintain our cleaning is through praise and worship, prayer, meditation, and studying the word of God. These practices are a great way to keep ourselves spiritually fresh. If we become spiritually stagnant, it's inevitable that we will fall into some of our familiar and funky ways. Even if you stay at home and do nothing at all, you will still develop an odor if you do not shower for two or three days.
What Is That Fragrance You Are Wearing?
So hopefully, my embarrassing predicaments can be an encouragement for us all to practice self-examination. Inspect yourselves and ask the Holy Spirit to search you thoroughly. You will be better for it and it will save you a ton of stress and embarrassment. Don't be spiritually nose blind. Be a pleasing aroma in the sight of God.