Recently, I came across a story that not only made me laugh but made me think as well. Now that’s a good story! It seems there was a Scottish painter named Smokey MacGregor who was very interested in making a penny where he could, so he often thinned down his paint to make it go a wee bit further. As it happened, he got away with this for some time. Eventually the local church decided to do a big restoration job on the outside of one of their biggest buildings.
Smokey put in a bid, and, because his price was so low, he got the job. He set about erecting the scaffolding and setting up the planks, buying the paint and, yes, I am sorry to say, thinning it down. Well, Smokey was up on the scaffolding painting away, the job nearly completed, when suddenly there was a horrendous clap of thunder, the sky opened, and the rain poured down washing the thinned paint off of the church and knocking Smokey clear off the scaffold to land on the lawn among the gravestones. There he lay surrounded by telltale puddles of the thinned and useless paint. Smokey was no fool. He knew this was a judgment from the Almighty, so he got down on his knees and cried: “Oh, God, Oh God, forgive me; what should I do?” From the thunder, a mighty voice spoke, “Repaint! Repaint! And thin no more!”
Now that’s funny, I don’t care who you are! But it isn’t just funny. It’s insightful as well.
You see, sin is really a “thinning” of God’s purpose. The paint that Smokey bought was meant to be used at its manufactured specifications. When he “thinned” it he distorted, degraded, and de-valued it. That’s what sin is! It is a distortion, degradation, and de-valuation of God’s purpose.
So what does God want us to do? Repaint! Do it over and do it right this time! That is actually in a sense what the word repentance means in the original language of the New Testament (Greek). It’s a compound word of two words that literally mean to “change the mind.” Change your mind about how you paint! Change your mind about “thinning” out God’s Word, His Truth, His Will, and His Way in your life!
So the next time you decide to “thin” what God has said He wants you to do and be in attitude or action remember His words to Smokey. “Repaint! Repaint! And thin no more!”