Accepting Personal Responsibility

I read about a middle school in Oregon that faced a unique problem with a number of girls going into the bathrooms to put on lipstick. After doing so, they would press their lips to the mirrors leaving dozens of little “lip prints.” I guess they thought it was a cute thing to do, but as you can imagine, it became a nightmare for the janitors. Believe you me, I identified with that story because I was a janitor for a Christian H.S. in the Winona Lake, Ind. in the mid 80’s.

Finally, the Principal decided something had to be done. She called the girls and the custodian into the bathroom. The principle explained that the lip prints was a major problem for the custodian, who had to clean the mirrors, every day.

So, to demonstrate how difficult it was, she asked the custodian to clean one of the mirrors. As the girls watched, the janitor took out this long-handled brush, dipped it into the toilet, and scrubbed the mirror. That little demonstration had amazing results. The story stated that there have been no lip prints on any of the mirrors in that school since then. If you’re like me, you’re laughing or at least smiling now.

What this Principle did for those girls is a little bit like what James is trying to do for us in James 1:13-18. He wants us to think about our behaviors and to own up to them. He is convinced that if we understand a little more about the nature of sin and our bent toward depravity, we’ll be less likely to cozy up with it.

We must have a respect of our depravity if we’re going to be responsible for our modus operandi. It’s one of the major issues I see in Christian Culture keeping people from being real with God and others. If we don’t get this, there is a twisted Christianity that tricks us into thinking we’re okay when we’re not. Join me in the next few blogs as I explore this thought, would you?