Earlier this week, I read that many people rely on what’s called the “sniff test,” as a way to determine if their clothes are clean and can therefore be worn again. Here’s how it works: if you’re you unsure that a shirt or pair of pants are clean, you smell them to make that determination. If they reek, put them in the washing machine. If they smell fine, they’ve passed the test and you’ve selected your outfit for the day.
Studies show that this is an unreliable way to ascertain about the cleanliness of your clothes. According to Reader’s Digest, 70 percent of the soil on your clothing is invisible. Also, you may not be able to smell certain scents that others can easily identify. The bottom line is this: even if your clothes pass the sniff test, they probably still need to be washed.
Dear reader, as sinners, we all need to be cleansed from sin even if we think we are clean. We may not smell our own sin and even if we do, there’s a large percentage of it we can’t smell or see. As fallen human beings, we simply cannot see our sin as it truly is.
Does a fish know that he is wet? No, because that’s his environment – it’s all he knows. Likewise, our sin is all we know so we can’t possibly understand how sinful we really are. But the Lord knows. The Lord in His infinite wisdom and holiness can see our sin as it truly is. The Lord knows us better than we know ourselves. Therefore, we should turn to the Lord to determine our cleanliness.
David understood this concept and that’s why he prayed this prayer in Psalm 139, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (vv. 23-24). Pray that the Lord would search and test you thoroughly for sins you may not be aware of. And then pray for His provision in overcoming those sins - that He would lead you in the way everlasting. We need the Lord’s cleansing each and every day, even if our lives pass the sniff test!
Editor’s Note: Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of the Murray Ledger & Times.