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That Smells Bad!

June 20, 2012

“Are you going to put me in your book?” asked a guy way back in my college days.

“Everybody’s going to end up in my book one way or another,” I quipped. “So you’d better be nice to me.” Truthfully, I couldn’t imagine him doing anything remarkable enough, good or bad, to end up in my book – other than to ask me that question.

These days, it’s the blog. Some fear it, and others, I suspect, would like to be featured in it. What they don’t realize is that my stories, rather than painting people in glamorous situations, tend to find the absurd and unflattering.

Most recently, I was laughing with a friend over the day she came home and entered her house only to detect a terrible smell. She stomped into the living room and looked behind the couch. Not there. She went upstairs and looked in the bedroom, the walk-in closet, the bathroom, and everywhere she turned, the smell seemed to be just ahead of her. At last she looked down and saw a smudge on the carpet, not in front of her but behind her. Horrified, she turned clear around and saw another spot a little further back, and that’s when she examined her shoe.

Apparently, she’d stepped in it on the way into the house and had now tracked it all throughout her home. The afternoon was spent shampooing carpets.

With sides shaking I said, “Now that’s blog worthy.”

“Use it with my blessing,” she laughed. “Just don’t use my name.”

Generally, I’m pretty careful about the inclusion of names unless I’ve been given permission. Most people want to protect their names because they are essential to our identity. When the Nazis wanted to dehumanize their prisoners, they stopped using names and instead assigned numbers stripping them of the one thing a person owns from birth – their given name. 

The Bible places great importance on the reputation of a person’s name; so we should fight to protect it too. 

“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.” Proverbs 22:1a

“A good name is better than precious ointment.” Ecclesiastes 7:1a

Many people don’t want anyone to know if they’ve done something silly but will easily tell how they cheated on a test, lied to an employer, deceived their parents, or got a deal by being dishonest. Few stop to think about how they’re marking their character, tainting their name, and developing a stinky reputation which will not only follow but will precede them.

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