The Parable of the Rotten Potatoes

UPDATE: Turns out that the smell…not rotten potatoes after all.   Leaky water heater – lots of money to fix…Oh well…points below still ring true.  🙂


Being the introvert that I am, I love email and texting.  I can talk to almost anyone about anything and never have to have a face to face conversation.  The problem I have encountered with texting, however, is that I don’t always understand the abbreviations people use. 

For example:

My husband sent me a text this afternoon that said: Potatoes

Okay.  I had no idea what that meant, so I emailed my friendPotatoes?  What does that mean?

Her response: Maybe he wants some for supper?  Maybe he wants you to buy some?  Grow some?

So I text him back: Would you like me to stop on the way home and buy some potatoes?

He responds:  No…that’s what stunk.

You see…for several days now, there has been an odor in my house…a pretty foul odor.  I first discovered it in the laundry room and for the life of me could not determine the source.  No wet clothes in the washing machine.  No food left by the children anywhere.  So…I decided to ignore it and pray it went away.

Then the kitchen began to smell badly.  So, this morning, I made sure there were no dirty dishes…the trash can was empty…I scrubbed the counters with lysol…I even sprayed some air freshener.  To be honest, I was in a panic.  My sweet mother-in-law was picking my girls up from school today since I had to work late.  She was going to keep them at my house until my husband got home.  I wanted to warn her…really, I did.  But, I just couldn’t bring myself to say…By the way, my house really stinks.  Sorry about that. 

So, when my husband got home…he found some baking potatoes in the pantry that had been there a little beyond the recommended shelf life. 

And so he texted me: Potatoes.

Fascinating…I know.

Two lessons which can be drawn from the Parable of the Rotton Potatoes:

  1. You just can’t hide your stink…Sin not dealt with is like the smell of rotten potatoes (which, let me say, is not pleasant.)  You can ignore it for awhile.  You can try to improve in other areas.  You can attempt to cover it up with something more pleasant.  However, sin ignored will soon overpower everything else.  No matter how much you sanitize the countertops…it doesn’t change the fact that you have rotten potatoes in the pantry. 
  2. Sometimes you are the source of your own misery…For a couple days I have been getting more and more upset with God.  I know it is very silly, but I couldn’t understand why my house smelled so badly.  I mean, seriously, I have been feeling so close to Him and now I was convinced that I had a dead animal under my house or a leaky water heater that had caused a smelly mold to grow…or some weird gas was leaking throughout my house…I know.  You don’t have to say it…I tend to get really worked up.  So, imagine my embarrassment when I was told that the smell was in my pantry and was coming from potatoes that I had bought and that I left there for weeks on end.  I’m so quick to assume God is out to get me.  For several years, I have beat myself up over something I had done.  Every time I thought of it, I would repent all over again and feel guilty all over again.  It had become a never ending cycle.  Recently, however, I heard Beth Moore teach on that very topic.  She said that it showed a lack of trust in God’s Word.  He says that when we come to Him and repent of our sins…He is faithful and just to forgive them.  I think, somehow, it seems a little more righteous to us for us to wallow in our guilt…we want Him to know that we are unworthy.  However, by spending so much time and energy holding onto the mistakes of our past, we are greatly hindering our usefulness in the present.  I have been, for some time, begging God to use me and getting very frustrated at what I perceived to be His lack of response.  I have discovered, however, that I was the hinderance.  I was trying to serve Him while still living in guilt.  It is for freedom that Christ has set you free.  Do not let yourselves be yoked again by the bondage of slavery.  There is no bondage like the bondage of guilt.

And, for the record, there is no stink like the stink of rotten potatoes in the pantry…

2 thoughts on “The Parable of the Rotten Potatoes

  1. Stacy:
    I am a little behind on fun blogs, as I have to edit and work on my boss’s (not for fun but happy to do it, ha!). I laughed at the potato entry. I am glad you have learned these lessons as a young mother and wife. It took me many years to learn to forget the past and know that God forgives and ” that I was the hinderance. I was trying to serve Him while still living in guilt. It is for freedom that Christ has set you free. Do not let yourselves be yoked again by the bondage of slavery. There is no bondage like the bondage of guilt.” You are miles ahead of where I was as a young mother. Thanks, friend (and let’s plan a lunch soon)!

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