We once lived in a lovely church parsonage that began to smell. For about a week, the smell grew increasingly bad. We opened the windows for ventilation and cleaned the room carefully. But it kept coming back, worse than before. Finally, I realized that a skunk had gotten under our house, right under our bedroom floor! An exterminator removed the little stinker and our troubles ended.
This illustrates a common spiritual problem. Guilt is but the stink of sin in the conscience. You can't get rid of the stink until you get rid of the skunk. Sin is the skunk that lives down in our past. These skunks come in all shapes and sizes, but they all smell bad just the same.
Only Jesus Christ, the sin exterminator, can remove the source of the problem. Let Jesus regularly go down below and clean out the skunks. Only then can we have what was said of Epaphroditus in Philippians 4:18, "an odor of a sweet smell...well-pleasing to God."