I think it was George DeHoff who told a delightful story about a recent convert. It seems that a man had recently been baptized for the remission of his sins (Acts 2:38) and added to the Lord's church (Acts 2:47). He was very excited to be a new Christian, a brand new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). He, wanting to go right to work, insisted that the preacher give him the name of some folks to contact. The preacher was impressed with his enthusiasm but somewhat skeptical of his ability. He reluctantly gave him a few names of people who had not attended services for a very long time thinking he could do little harm with these.
In a little over a week, a letter arrived at the preacher's study from one of the men the new convert had contacted. This man was a rather prominent physician in town. The letter went something like this: "Preacher, I know I have been very derelict in my Christian duties. I have set a poor example and have not been a good steward of my time, talents, or money. I plan on being there this coming Sunday to be restored. I plan on making a financial contribution that day that will more than compensate for all the offerings I have not made."
At the end of the letter was this postscript: "Would you please tell your secretary that there is only one 't' in dirty and no 'c' in skunk?"
That amusing little story makes a very good point. There are times in life when it is entirely appropriate for one to feel like a dirty skunk. Consider some with me.
It is appropriate to feel like a "dirtty skunck" when I find it inconvenient to obey the gospel of Christ. In light of all that has been done to provide for my salvation, it is only reasonable that I should serve him (Romans 12:1). When Paul preached to Felix and Drusilla on righteousness, self-control, and the coming judgment (Acts 24:25), the governor informed Paul that to obey the gospel was inconvenient and that he would wait for a more convenient time. The divine record is as silent as the tomb in stating that this desired time of convenience ever came. If it did not, Felix died an inconvenient death waiting for a convenient time to obey.
Many others, perhaps some who are reading this very article, are doing the same thing. It should make you feel like a "dirtty skunck." Better yet, it should make you feel like a lost sinner.
It is entirely appropriate to feel like a "dirtty skunck" when you find any worldly pleasure or indulgence more pressing than worship. I remember the very first time I heard anyone say that he could not worship because Sunday was his only day to rest. I also remember the Christian who told me he could not possibly attend in the evening because he had to spend that time worrying about his job. No, I am not kidding. Was it not J. C. Penney who said that any person who has so much business to take care of that he cannot attend all the services of the church has more business than God ever intended anyone to have?
The early church had some who had gotten into a habit of unfaithfulness in their attendance (Hebrews 10:25). They have many modern counterparts. In light of the fact that worship is designed to praise God, I should feel like a "dirtty skunck" when I willfully forsake.
It is appropriate to feel like a "dirtty skunck" when I find any table more appealing than the table of our Lord. In the Lord's Supper, we have the privilege of remembering the body and blood of the greatest sacrifice ever made on behalf of man (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
I have been appalled in recent years by those folks who use funeral occasions to make protests. I am appalled by their total unconcern for the dead and the mourners. Is the Lord any less appalled when I treat His table in a frivolous manner? It should make me feel like a "dirtty skunck."
The man's spelling left something to be desired, but his reasoning was sound. It should make all of us feel like "dirtty skuncks" anytime we shirk our God-given responsibilities. 90 Waverly Court, Martinsburg, WV 25401. firstname.lastname@example.org
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