Many years ago when we were driving rust buckets, a friend loaned me a Nissan pickup—the holey nissan. It was a rolling joke. The bumper was tied on with twine. There was a big sag between the cab and the bed. Rust showed through on every panel…in fact the back panels were rusted so bad they had broken off at the bottom and flapped as I drove. The exhaust needed work and the muffler needed to be replaced. Oh…and the floorboard on the driver side was completely rusted through…so the cab smelled like exhaust after a few miles.
Rather than patching the hole, I justified its existence. The hole in the floor actually came in useful for an activity that most would think out of place…spitting sunflower seed shells in a car. It worked great. Ninety percent of them landed on the highway. The rest I knocked into the driveway with my boot after I got home.
But…as usual…when we justify something that we shouldn’t justify, the justified problem will eventually cost us more than we anticipated. One day while driving to work I reached into my lunch bag on the seat next to me to grab a granola bar. I hadn’t eaten enough breakfast and was hungry. An apple flew out of the bag when I pulled my hand out. It bounced off the seat and onto the edge of the center console…I dropped the granola bar and reached for the apple…it was too late…it disappeared down the hole…I quickly turned my head and saw my apple skittering down the road…Oops. Lunch was going to be a bit boring now. My apple was lost. My granola bar had been pilfered for breakfast. Only two sandwiches were left.
Our spiritual life works the same way. If we have a hole in our spiritual life that really should be patched up, and we excuse its presence, we will eventually lose things out that hole that we don’t want to lose. Young women lose their purity. Young men lose their clean speech. Young folks lose their desire to walk tight with Jesus no matter how much people laugh. People lose their way, their moral compass, their trust in the Bible. While it was kind of funny to watch my apple bouncing down the road, it is painful to watch Christians dropping spiritual things out the bottom of their holey Christianity and leaving pieces of the wreckage scattered along the road they walk.
Ephesians 6:11—“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Take up the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Don’t leave holes in your armor. If you leave holes in your armor, your Christianity will be holey Christianity, and you will lose things you don’t want to lose.
May you walk this week in the sunshine of the glorious grace of God. Grace that cleanses and forgives. Grace that restores.
“Eyes wide open, brain engaged, heart on fire.”
Lee W. Brainard