Bill Whittle (“Afterburner” on PJTV) observes, “If you add a small amount of the best wine to a cup of sewage, you have...sewage. But if you add a small amount of sewage to a cup of wine, you have...sewage.”
It’s a clever way of pointing out that purity is important, that to contaminate something requires very little of the offending substance.
Few people care whether Ivory bar soap is 99 and 44/100 pure. But take the same standard and apply it to marriage, and everyone cares. As of today, I’ve been married 35 years, which amounts to 12,775 days. If I have a one-night stand with someone, the argument that I’m 99.9999% faithful won’t wash. The .0001% unfaithfulness contaminates the trust.
The same argument can be applied with the same results to finances, speaking truthfully, keeping confidences––nearly every area we deeply care about. The reason is that the contamination affects negatively, even disastrously the previous condition.
Water contaminates nearly nothing, but sewage affects almost everything. The former changes hardly anything, but the other poisons the whole punchbowl.
Rationalizing that it’s just one event, just a small amount, only a small problem does not wash. The smallest amount can contaminate the whole.
Purity matters. It matters most in areas that matter most to us: in truthfulness, in integrity, in promise-keeping, in loyalty and faithfulness.
Where we sully the water with the sewage of our failures, we need to quickly confess it to God who is pure, trust His forgiveness to cleanse us from all impurity, and as best as we can, come clean with those affected.
Purity matters very much. Where does it matter most to you?