Living with roommates can be challenging. Sharing facilities like a washroom and kitchen means that sometimes I need to wait my turn to use them. It has also given me a rather gross analogy regarding sin and good works.

Over time I've learned that it's a good idea to wait at least a few minutes after one of my roommates (or guests) has … "done their duty" in the washroom. After they have "made a deposit" so to speak. Or "dropped the kids off at the pool," to use one of my friends' artful euphemisms. Our washroom lacks a working fan, and so that exasperates the problem, since it sometimes takes awhile for the lingering odors to dissipate.

Of course, that can be rather inconvenient when I have to "go." So thinking myself to be quite clever, I bought a cheap air freshener and put it in the washroom.

Was the problem solved with the aroma of wildflowers? Hardly. Now after someone has done a "number 2" in the washroom, there is no longer a poop smell to deal with … there is the smell of poop mixed with flowers. Poopy flowers. Which in a way is actually worse than poop alone.

This illustrates the way that sin corrupts what's good. Adding good works to our sins doesn't cover the sins. The sweet aroma of our good deeds is tainted by the stench of our sins. What we need is the removal of the foul odor, which is something our good deeds can never do. For that, we need God's help, because He can do what is impossible for us.