Recently, while on the hunt for lumber for a project, I was helping someone take up old boards on their back deck. I had seen the deck in a picture and they looked to be in good shape. When I arrived however, I realized that while many were fine, some were starting to crumble due to age and the elements taking their toll over the years. As we pulled them up, some just fell apart due to wood rot.
This wasn't some terrible deck, it seemed sturdy, I had walked on it with no fear; and yet as we pulled up the boards I found that many were rotten below the stained surface. They had fooled me. On the surface they looked good; but deep down they were broken, crumbling and rotten.
We probably have all known a person like this. On the surface they look to have it all together; but on closer inspection we find that they are hiding something. They pretend to be fine, but deep down they are rotten.
But, let's be honest for a second. Do you have rot in your heart? If you look down deep in you, what do you see? In your heart is there bitterness, jealousy, hatred or anger toward another person? In your heart is their greed, lust or gluttony for more? We may hide it from others who only see the surface of our lives; but deep down you know your own heart...the rot that you hide from the world.
God doesn't care about the beautifully stained surface of your life; he cares about the heart. Who you really are. God calls out those secret sins, attitudes and calls us to a higher level of obedience.
Ephesians 5:3-8 says, "But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person-such person is an idolater-has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light."
Don't hide your rot anymore, bring it into the light and be set free by the God who heals.
Amen and Amen.