In our cleanliness-crazed culture, not many people have the courage to say it, but I will. Sometimes, it’s an advantage to stink!
Think about this. Here’s a basketball player before the big game. He showers, puts on deodorant and aftershave, making sure to change his socks. He wants to smell good in case he crashes into the chairs near the cheerleaders while chasing a loose ball.
Now there’s three-seconds left in the game and the ball is in our hero’s hands, but he can’t get loose for a good shot because his defender is stuck to him like glue. Should never have happened.
If our good man had refused to take baths for three weeks, if he had worn his socks steadily for 321 hours, if he had used one of those nasty deodorants which turn traitor and goes over to the enemy the first time that sweat touches it–if he had done all these things here is what would have happened.
Three seconds left in the game, the ball is in our hero’s hands, his defender desperately want to guard him, but he had a belly-full of bad smell the whole game and he stands off just a bit. Old dead eye takes advantage of the little space and pops up for an easy jump shot—voilà victory.
Admittedly he doesn’t get a lot of hugs from the cheerleaders after the game but this is about winning. Sometimes stinking is good.
I thought about this last week in the middle of moving. On my list of 100 things I hate to do, moving must be in the top five. After several hours you’re exhausted, grouchy, fed-up and wondering where you’re going to put everything. And in addition, you stink!
It just seems to me, that your muscles are stronger at times like that if you stink. It helps you keep going. And even if it doesn’t really make you stronger, it fits the occasion better. Who can move when he radiates the odor of a flower?
Course there are times when smelling good is an advantage. Young man, if you want to make an good impression, a bath and a little aftershave does wonders. Notice, I said “a little” aftershave. It’s not good when she can smell your aftershave before you even arrive. That’s simply stinking in an unorthodox way.
And another place you don’t want to stink is in your personality. Stinky personalities aren’t the best advertisements for the Lord. I remember a girl I knew back in high school, years ago. One day I was trying to remember why she wasn’t more popular, because she was pretty.
Then I remembered why. She could cut your head off and hand it to you on a platter with her tongue. Makes people keep their distance, that.
Let me give you a tip on some “aftershave” that will make you really smell good (or perfume in the case of you ladies).
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Love never dies. (from 1 Corinthiens 13, the Message)
How does your wife think you smell? Or your kids? Or those who work for you? Or your pastor? Or … ?
It’s true that sometimes it pays to stink—if your goal is to win basketball games or move furniture. But if you want to win in your Christian life it’s better to let Christ sprinkle his good smell in you.
“Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life.” (2 Cor. 2:15, the Message)
“…calling is more important than qualification…David wasn’t qualified to fight Goliath. Moses wasn’t qualified to lead the Israelites. And Peter certainly wasn’t qualified to walk on water. It is our incompetence that keeps us humble and keeps us dependent upon God. But that awareness of our own incompetence needs to be coupled with the awareness that our competence comes from God.” Mark Batterson