Monday, April 26, 2010

Rotting or Righteous?


I needed a few tomatoes to complete my salad. I opened the crisper drawer, in search of the container that held them. There it was beside the carrots, green onions and romaine lettuce. I opened the lid and reached in to pick out some tomatoes, when I noticed it. The skin of one of the red, fleshy, fruits was covered with white mold. As I gingerly picked it out of the carton, I realized that several of the surrounding tomatoes had also been affected. Ugh! After removing the rest of the moldy fruit, I was able to find enough good tomatoes to finish my salad.


As I ate my salad, I thought about the affect one thing has on another. When one of the tomatoes in the container got moldy, it didn't take long before all the surrounding tomatoes were growing their own cultures of the white, furry stuff. I was reminded of the old saying, "One bad apple spoils the bunch." Wow! If one piece of fruit can spoil the entire bunch, what kind of affect do we have on others?


Our attitudes and resulting actions have the potential to seriously affect others. Paul put it this way when he addressed the church in Corinth, "Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavenead" (1 Corinthians 5:6b-7a; KJV). Leaven refers to the yeast that makes bread dough rise. Once you put yeast into the bread dough, all of the dough is affected. You can't expect one portion of the dough to rise, while the other remains flat.


Throughout the Bible, leaven represents sin. When there was sin in the body of believers at Corinth, it affected the entire body. No one was exempt. The same is true today. Sin is not something that affects only one person. When I chose to speak words that are unkind, more often than not, I offend someone and cause a wall to be erected in our relationship. My bad attitude can trigger a ripple effect that can have far reaching consequences in the lives of others.

When sin is tolerated rather than confronted, the 'rotting' process continues. Pretty soon, everyone in our sphere of influence is sporting a wardrobe plagued with unfashionable 'leaven.'


The solution? Putting off some old things and putting on some new things. "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness" (Ephesians 4:22-24).


Each one of us has a daily decision to make. What attitudes and actions will we put on? Those related to our old man, the ones filled with sin and deceit, or those found in the new man, the ones filled with the righteousness of Christ. What affect will we have on others today? Will we tear them down or build them up? The choice is ours. We should determine to clothe ourselves with the wardrobe of the new man and begin edifying others today!

19 comments:

  1. Fantastic post, Maria. We have a choice every day to be kind, selfish, complacent, or mean. Our actions and words do affect others.

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  2. Hi Maria -

    Excellent message. How many have experienced hurt and go on to wound others? May we be aware of that ripple affect on those around us.

    Blessings,
    Susan

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  3. Jill - You're absolutely right! That's why it's so important to choose our 'clothing' first thing in the morning, so we're able to respond with the right spirit, when life happens!! God bless you, my friend!

    Susan - It is so easy to retaliate when we've been offended. How much better for us and those around us when we choose Christ's example and implement His ways! Hugs and blessings to you!

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  4. I have to remind myself so many mornings to get back on my knees and get my attitude straight before I face the world.
    Blessings,
    andrea

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  5. Good post. I am reminded of how the choices I make impact those around me, especially those closest to me.
    Blessings,
    Karen

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  6. Andrea - Good for you! I'm sure you're able to bless those around you with the fragrance of Christ! God bless you!

    Karen - Those closest to us often bear the brunt of our bad attitudes, but it's encouraging to know that when we make the choice to wear those 'new' garments, they have the opportunity to see Christ in us!! Have a beautiful week, friend!

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  7. Wouldn't it be a fun summer study to look at all the "put on . . ." verses and all the "put off . . . " verses in the Bible? A great reminder, Maria.

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  8. I have been dwelling on and praying about this very truth this morning. God's Word gives us such help to keep our perspective on target. So well illustrated here when we consider becoming "spoiled" by sin.

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  9. Glenda - Yes! Sounds like a wonderful study! It does require conscious effort and a renewal of our minds with the things of Christ. Have a beautiful day, my friend!

    Julie - God's word is always so timely! I'm thankful that He could continue speaking to you through His word shared here. I appreciate your insights! Have a blessed day!

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  10. Blessings to you Maria, Loved this post and I find our words can bless and give life to those around us-especially children. Not only our words but our inward heart attitudes as well.
    I can see we have much in common and I look forward to following you. In fact, I have a granddaughter whose middle name is Riley .
    Hugs to you today.
    Noreen

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  11. WOw...I am so sometimes that moldy tomato...praying for forgiveness & thank you for this post! Love it & needed it.

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  12. And ALL that wisdom from tomatoes! :) LOL. Sister...GREAT post...things to ponder...things to pray about.
    With joy,
    Cherie

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  13. I love the analogy :) Great post.

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  14. Noreen - Welcome! Thanks so much for your sweet spirit and words of encouragement! I look forward to getting to know you and reading your blog posts, as well. How neat that your granddaughter's middle name is Riley! God bless you!

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  15. Maria, thanks for a great post! May we be beautiful on the inside today and choose to speak words of life to those around us!

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  16. Steph - Thanks for stopping by! I know at some point in our lives we've all been that moldy tomato! Sometimes those visual pictures are a good reminder for me to choose the righteous path rather than the one that's rotten! God bless you as you follow Him!

    Cherie - I'm amazed at the many simple analogies God uses with me. He knows to use the very basic of things so I can 'get' it!! Praying for God's blessings on you and your writing!

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  17. Lynda - Welcome! Thanks so much for joining my blog! I look forward to getting to know you and sharing this writing journey with you! God bless you!

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  18. At my ladies' bible study tonight, we discussed our responses to situations and the choices we make as we deal with them!

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  19. Great post... what a wonderful mesage.

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