Colossians 3:5-12, NIV: Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature…You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things…Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

I quit smoking about twenty years ago. I quit because I was disgusted with smelling it on my clothing. But this didn’t keep me out of the bowling alleys where second hand smoke thickly flourished. I enjoyed bowling, so I put up with the smoke while there. However, being a nonsmoker, after leaving a bowling alley, the stink on my clothes seemed so much worse than before. After getting home, the first thing on my mind was to shed the stinky, smoke permeated clothing, and get a bath, and wash my hair. I can’t help but draw a comparison between that, and our lives as Christians in the world. Many of us came to Christ, and put the old sinful habits behind us. And yet, for some reason, we continue visiting those places where once we leave, we smell the stink of the world all over ourselves. Perhaps we still do some of the things we did before we came to Christ. Or maybe--more subtly--we do things that seem harmless yet convey all manner of ungodliness (TV, movies, for example). Perhaps we are not even aware until we come away. Perhaps we still don’t notice; in which case we should evaluate why it doesn’t bother a child of God to wear the stink of sin. Perhaps we should be wondering when we as Christians will get disgusted with smelling the stink of the world on us--and will shed the worldly clothing--refusing to go there again.