Thursday, November 10, 2011

Why Oscar is So Grouchy

The other day I was thinking about Oscar the Grouch.  For as long as I can remember the cranky Sesame Street character has fussed and bothered about every little thing, just like some people I know and live with, including myself.  As I considered the source of his grouchiness, I wondered if perhaps the reason might be that Oscar is living in a trash can filled with stinky, messy garbage.  That would make me more than a little cranky.  In fact, some days I walk in my house and quickly become irritated because of the messes that are simply part of our day-to-day existence.

Our lives are not unlike Oscar's trash can.  We live in a culture characterized by foul language, filthy entertainment, and sinful habits that leave us irritated much of the time.  Perhaps that is because the very sin we live with is contrary to God's laws and will for our lives, and knowing that creates conflict within us that makes us cranky and downright difficult to be around.

Perhaps if Oscar got out of his trash can, cleaned up his act, and took a stroll in the sunshine he'd actually be a pleasant fellow for a change.  So might we if we confessed our sin, turned away from the negative influences that leave us dirty and marred, and actually stepped into the light of God's love.

The struggle against sin will always leave us with feelings of conflict.  Paul wrote of this very conflict in Romans 7:14-20:
We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.  I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.  And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.  For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.  Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

If you are feeling a little grouchy today, check your living conditions.  Confess your sin, ask the Lord to clean you up, and walk in the light of His love.  Before long you will find a spring in your step, a song on your lips, and joy in your heart.

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