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Whitewash... Don't cover what needs to be fixed

So I will pour out my wrath against the wall and against those who covered it with whitewash. I will say to you, “The wall is gone and so are those who whitewashed it, those prophets of Israel who prophesied to Jerusalem and saw visions of peace for her when there was no peace, declares the Sovereign Lord. ”’

Ezekiel 13:15-16

There is nothing like a fresh coat of paint to put the sparkle back into a room. Painting is not one of my favorite things to do. It is like cleaning my garage. It takes a lot to get me motivated to begin, but once I start, look out. I do not want to stop. Why end the project with just one room? What else needs to be painted?

My daughter and I did a project in our laundry room a few years back. The goal was to take down all the cabinets, pull up the old flooring, paint the walls, and then put down the new flooring. Sounds simple! In fact, we estimated two days to get the job done. How hard could it be? Well, if you have ever remodeled, you know where I am going with this. The flooring was not the easiest to bring up, and the cabinets came down quickly, but that was when we hit the snag in the project. Behind one of the cabinets on the floor we found mold. The project came to a screeching halt! Since we live in the church parsonage, the project was no longer a fresh coat of paint and flooring. It had now taken a detour to contact the board for permission to hire someone to inspect the walls for any more mold that could be harmful if not taken care of. We called the experts who came a few days later and they inspected the laundry room. They found that the mold was minimal, but suggested we tear out the bad section and replace it with new drywall. CRUD!

If you know me, paint is about as far as I get on a construction project. With the diagnosis, I entered a whole new world that would take someone more skilled than I or my daughter. What I thought was a two-day project was now entering its second week. The dry wall job was done by our handy man Carl at the church. Every church needs a Carl! Once the drywall was completed, we continued with the paint, hung new shelves and laid down the new flooring that Carl had to help with as well. Thanks Carl!

Now go back to the point where we discovered the mold. Everything inside of me wanted to take a paint brush and simply paint over the black and brown spots. A little paint and it is as good as new. A fresh coat of paint does wonders, but it will not eliminate or fix a potentially dangerous problems. Now that the project is completed, I am glad we did the right thing, but the temptation was strong to cover what needed to be fixed.

Jeremiah in our text is prophesying to a nation that has a mold problem. They need to be fixed. There were serious cracks in their moral foundation of God’s people. They had turned their back on Him, but at the same time wanted to go through the religious duties. Instead of the leaders calling out the sin and returning to the Lord, they simply put a fresh coat of paint on the flimsy walls. Whitewash made it look good from the outside but inside it was about to fall. Thus the reason why Jeremiah was sent by God to warn the people. He was saying, “Don’t ignore the mold!” Look around today and see for yourself. Our walls have holes, mold and decay by our willing rebellion as a nation and lack of leadership to do the right thing. Look at the Church. Go google some statistics of what people really think who call themselves Christians. It is alarming what exists inside the Church in America. We are no different than those in Jeremiah’s day and no matter how many coats of paint, one day these walls will crash, and we will regret not doing the work needed to make things right.

What is the condition of your soul right now? How is your family, marriage? Has God, through this difficult season, exposed the things needed to be addressed and healed in His name and through His Word? Are you willing to take the much-needed time to do it right with Jesus? If you see things in your life, your home that need to be fixed, not painted over, surrender them to Jesus. Repent and allow Jesus to address these areas with counsel, His Word, and through prayer. Put down the paint brush, get the right people in your life, and allow Jesus to fix the problem the right way.


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