"The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it" (Psalm 68:11).
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
In A Word: Clean
I walked into my apartment tonight and stepped into a room filled with a minty fresh scent. My carpets were cleaned today by the apartment complex (they do this no charge once a year). How fantastic it was to step into a clean apartment with super soft, fresh, and nearly dry clean carpet! I was so excited! The previous year when I had the carpets cleaned I ended up walking into a dining room with damp wet carpet that released little soap suds when stepped on. It was a disaster. The carpets were clean, but the clean up effort after the first clean up was ridiculous. It was different this time around. It was so incredibly refreshing to have the carpets clean, dry, and ready to put the furniture back on. It know it sounds crazy, but I love it when things are clean, polished, disinfected, and sparkling! It's a wonderful feeling of accomplishment to sit on the couch and admire the results of good hard work!
Being clean (for most of us) is a good thing and something we strive for in just about every area of our life. But if we're honest, many of us don't like the work and effort required to keep things clean and we end up taking short cuts. Obviously last year's carpet cleaner took a short cut that ended up leaving suds in my dining room. Other common shortcuts include sweeping the dust under the rug when no one is looking, wiping the crumbs from the table onto the floor, spraying air freshener on our clothes instead of washing them, and even washing off with only a damp cloth and calling it a shower when time is limited. This, however, does not get things as clean as they could or should be. Truth be told, no matter if we take shortcuts or work hours on end, we're never going to get things perfectly clean. We can shower until the hot water runs out, comes back, and runs out again and the germs won't really be completely gone. Even antibacterial soap says it can only get rid of 99.9% of germs.
As much as we like our idea of clean, there's really only one area of life in which we can truly be clean and that's because someone else is doing the cleaning. Our sin nature causes us to be covered with the filth of sin from head to toe. Isaiah 64:6 tells us that "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." The sacrifice of Christ on the cross of Calvary cleanses the filth away like no other. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool" (Isaiah 1:18).When we confess this truth with our mouth and believe on the Lord Jesus, we receive forgiveness of sin; salvation and eternal life in Christ (Romans 10:9). Now that's a real, genuine feeling of clean!