Most of us don’t give a second thought to what happens to things after we take out the garbage or flush the toilet in our homes. The past couple months, I have learned more about what goes down the sewer line than I would care to deal with. I’ve learned it is 80’ from one rental house to the sewer and seen things come back up out of a basement toilet that should not have been flushed. I’ve dealt with a couple different plumbers, one who treated some symptoms and made things better for a week, and another who dealt with the problem causing some of the other issues. If you grew up on a farm, there were a few ways you could deal with manure and the stink it brought. Have you ever cleaned up a barn or animal shed with a pitch fork? One early memory I have is sitting with my dad on the tractor as we scooped up the cattle yard and filled a manure spreader. It’s not pretty, but you had to do something about it. How do you deal with the manure that stinks up your life?
As part of your equipment have something to dig with, and when you relieve yourself, dig a hole and cover up your excrement. Deuteronomy 23:13
If you ever walk your dog around town or at the dog park, it is customary, and polite, to bring a doggie bag, so you can scoop up the mess your dog makes instead of leaving it around for others to step in. Hopefully, you are responsible for your own messes, but what about when it comes to cleaning up other people’s messes? If you are a parent you have likely changed a fair amount of dirty diapers, and done other things for your children that you would be hesitant to ask anyone else to do. We often go above and beyond the call of duty for the health and well-being of those we love and care about. Do you think others, or even God, would do the same for you?
All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. Isaiah 64:6
One argument I often heard from people, even if they are born again, about why they didn’t want to attend a church, is that they first had to get their life ‘cleaned up’ before they would be acceptable to others in the church, or to God. They were worried that their past mistakes, or how they looked or acted now, would not allow them to fit in with other ‘Christians’. In a way, they are right. Most of us can put on a fairly good show for a couple hours and appear ‘put together’ to others, but none of us can appear perfect before God, based on our own good deeds. All we have to offer is our sin and the mess that is our lives. All of our own good works will never be ‘good enough’ to be acceptable to Him, but only through the righteousness that was given for us, in Christ. We need His help.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
Unless we deal with our sin as God asks us to, we are not really addressing it. We are just moving it around, hiding it, trying to make it not look so bad, and basically trying to manage it. When we keep shoving things into the hall closet, where we hide stuff we don’t want seen, eventually it will get crowded and come falling back on us. Confess your sins and bring them out before God, and others you can trust. Sure it will smell for a bit, but until you deal with things that make your life stink, it won’t get any better. When God deals with the mess in our lives, I wonder how he sees us? When we are born again and the Holy Spirit resides in us, we are always in the process of being sanctified, though we will never become clean or ‘perfect’ in this life. Take comfort in knowing that He is always willing to help us clean up the messes in our lives when we confess our sins and deal with it.
Yours in Christ,