I recall my complexion woes when I was a teenager. Sure, I had a few bumps and blemishes, but nothing major. Nothing that warranted spending all my hard-earned babysitting income on facial scrubs and creams and cleansing tonics as I did. Or becoming a salesperson for a skin care company following high school graduation so I could buy their products at a discount. And certainly nothing worth taking prescription drugs as I did. What was I thinking?
I was thinking that a few blemishes compromised my physical well-being and left me flawed. Less than perfect. Undesirable. In essence, it was my thinking that was flawed. And I wasn’t alone. Every year, North Americans spend billions on skin products to decrease wrinkles, brown spots, freckles, and pores. I see the same thing in Europe. We long to be blemish-free.
Imagine the difference in our society if every man and woman would invest the same energy to avoid spiritual and emotional blemishes. Unfortunately, we often allow our emotions to dictate our decisions and behavior, and doing so leaves us carrying marks or scars we later wish we could erase.
A woman named Abigail once warned David against killing her husband, who’d treated him with contempt by withholding hospitality to him and his army. “When the LORD has done all he promised and has made you leader of Israel, don’t let this be a blemish on your record,” she said (1 Samuel 24:31).
Wise woman, Abigail was. She knew David’s reputation would be permanently marred if he killed Nabal. He’d probably carry guilt and shame, too. She counseled him to think twice before acting upon his angry emotions, and reminded him that his behavior would have long lasting consequences. Thankfully David heeded Abigail’s advice.
We’d do well to apply Abigail’s advice to our own lives, too. If we want to be blemish-free emotionally and spiritually, then let’s be careful to not allow our feelings to dictate our actions. Let’s think twice before doing or saying something we’ll later regret.
Thankfully, for those of us who mess up, God promises His forgiveness and cleansing. He is able to renew and restore and give us a fresh start.
Let’s purpose today to put as much effort into living blemish-free emotionally and spiritually as we do physically. Imagine the difference in our homes, our churches, and our communities if every man and woman made blemish-free living their goal.