Have you heard the phrase, “He is like a skunk at a garden party?” Apparently, this refers to a person in a group that is unwelcome and avoided by most of the group. An example might be when a Republican shows up at a Democrat networking event. Or when an uninvited Dallas Cowboy fan crashes a Houston Texan tail-gate party.
The “skunk” may be a that person who is always complaining and is irritable. Or they may be that person who cannot make a decision. If you go out to eat, they are the last one to figure out what they want. Then after they order, they keep changing their mind and confuse the server. Once their food arrives, something will always be wrong. Their constant complaining embarrasses everyone else. They have become the skunk at a garden party.
Several years ago, a man was on a business trip and running late. His group was staying in a large hotel in a mid-west city. As he checked in, he asked the counter agent where to find his business group. The agent told him the ballroom number. When he arrived at that room, he went in expecting to see at least a few friends. But as he milled around the room, he knew no one. However, the people were very friendly, and they welcomed him into their conversations.
As the chat unfolded, he realized that these people were UFO enthusiasts, and each one was telling outrageous stories of their personal encounters with extraterrestrials. When he disagreed with them and said that he did not believe in UFO’s, that’s when “he felt like a skunk at a garden party!”
In the Bible, there were many “skunks.” When Jonah emerged from the belly of the great fish, he definitely was a “skunk at the garden party.” In the New Testament, Judas was probably avoided even before he betrayed Jesus. He was negative, suspicious, and consumed with greed.
But the one “skunk” everybody avoided was the immoral Old Testament Queen Jezebel. Not only was she selfish, deceitful, and manipulative, she painted her face with lead, coal, and the froth of concrete. This caused her eyes to dilate and seem bigger than normal. On her head she wore an astonishingly flamboyant headdress that was clearly the center of attention.
As Christians, we are to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. That means that we have to deal with all kinds of characters. But did you know that the Bible admonishes us to avoid some people? These “skunks” can cause us harm and so we must sidestep them. Here are a few “skunks” to avoid:
1. People that are perverted, wicked, and corrupt (Proverbs 24:1)
2. People who cause divisions or hinder God’s work (Romans 16:17)
3. People who are irreverent, godless, and foolish (1 Timothy 2:23)
4. People who stir up ignorant controversaries (2 Timothy 2:23)
5. People who brag about their pedigrees, filigrees, or academia degrees (Titus 3:9)
The most stunning “skunks” are described in 2 Timothy 3:1-9. These are the folks who act religious, but “they reject the power that could make them Godly.” They have a counterfeit faith, a depraved mind, and have led many astray. AVOID THEM!
There is a fine line between loving people, and winning the lost to Jesus. But it is quite another matter to get trapped by cunning minds. Stay close to the Lord, pray often, and read the Word of God daily. Find a group of committed Believers who have a proven faith and sound teaching. And avoid the “skunks.”