AHHHHHHH, the fragrant aroma of Axe Body spray.  It’s 7:00 pm and the young men of CORE517 are piling into youth worship. Many of these young men have been running actively for hours prior to church.  Oh yes, there is nothing more noticeable than the smell of a young teenager who hasn’t fully grasped the concept of showering after gym class in 4th period; so, what does one do when they know they stink, and yet, soap and water are as foreign a concept as Mandarin Chinese is to me?  Just spritz a “little” dab of body spray.  Their “dab” has now covered them in an invisible force field of Axe body spray, because nothing masks the smells coming from your body like a total body spray immersion.  I laugh to myself as the tears run down my eyes from the musk scent of “Ocean Mist,” “Anarchy,” “Apollo,” and “Black Chill.” (Yes, I did look those up on Axe’s website. I’m not really an Axe fragrance aficionado).  

It’s from this masking of odors that a thought comes to my head.  How many of us are masking our sins with Axe body spray?  Well, maybe not with Axe body spray, but with its Soul equivalent.  How many of us hide our sin behind going to church and youth ministry, or wearing a Jesus t-shirt, or attending a youth rally, or getting a scripture tattoo, or taking a selfie of us “reading” the Bible?  Not that there is anything wrong with any of these things, but when done to show the world how great of a “Christian” you are, instead of being done because you are taking a hard step to become closer to God, well then, it’s as apparent as the subtle scent of teenage body odor covered in Axe. 

It’s like the social media photo of the person who has their coffee and Bible out on the table for study with a caption, “Getting some God time.”  Inherently, that’s a good thing, quiet time with God and a good cup of Joe.  Except when you scroll down their news feed and see a picture of a party where they’re as drunk as a skunk and half-dressed while wearing a lampshade on their head and dancing on a table. Well, let’s just say it doesn’t speak well to your “God time” you had earlier in the day. 

All you are doing is masking the sin, not cleansing it.  Covering it up, not washing it away.  Hiding the fact that your sin stinks, all of our sins stink, and needs to be cleaned.  Jesus is the soap and water of the soul. It’s through Him that we are cleansed of our sins, but it’s an active choice just as bathing is.  Let’s stop using things to cover up, and start washing.  We will smell so much better because of it! 

Pastor Collin