Many years back when we were driving rust buckets, a friend loaned me a Nissan pickup—the holey Nissan. It was a rolling joke. The bumper was tied on with twine. The frame sagged between the cab and the bed. Every panel was rusted. In fact, the back panels were rusted so badly that they had broken off at the bottom and flapped as I drove down the highway. The muffler—rusted through and loud—needed to be replaced. Worse, the floorboard on the driver side was rusted through bad enough for a basketball to pass through, so the cab smelled like exhaust after a few miles of driving.
Rather than patching the hole, I justified its existence. It came in handy for spitting sunflower seed shells. Most of them landed on the highway. The rest I knocked into the driveway with my boot after I got home.
But when we justify something that we shouldn’t justify, it will eventually cost us. So it was with my floorboard hole. One day while driving to work, I reached into my lunch bag to grab a granola bar. I hadn’t eaten enough breakfast and was hungry. My apple flew out of the bag when I retracted my hand. It bounced off the seat and onto the center console. I dropped the granola bar on the seat and reached for the apple. But I was too slow. It disappeared down the hole. I spun my head around and saw my apple skittering down the road. No my lunch was going to be on the light side.
Our spiritual life works the same way. If we have a hole in our spiritual life that really should be patched up, and we excuse its presence, we will eventually lose things out that hole that we don’t want to lose. Young women lose their purity. Young men lose their clean speech. Young folks lose their desire to walk tight with Jesus. People lose their way, their moral compass, their trust in the Bible. While it was kind of funny to watch my apple bouncing down the road, it is painful to watch Christians dropping spiritual things out the bottom of their holey Christianity and leaving pieces of the wreckage scattered along their path.
Ephesians 6:11—“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Take up the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Don’t leave holes in your armor. If you leave holes in your armor, your Christianity will be holey Christianity, and you will lose things you don’t want to lose.
May you walk this week in the sunshine of the glorious grace of God. Grace that cleanses and forgives. Grace that restores.
“Eyes wide open, brain engaged, heart on fire.”
Lee W. Brainard