Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Spiritual Hygiene

Imagine you’re having lunch with a friend. At some point during the meal, your friend informs you that you have some broccoli stuck in your teeth. You were not able to see the broccoli in your own teeth, but your friend could easily see it from their vantage point. What do you do? My guess is that most of us would thank the friend for alerting us to the situation and busily start trying to remove the offending broccoli from our teeth.

But what if that friend instead informed you of sin they have witnessed in your life? What would your reaction be then? Sadly, I’m afraid many of us would be offended and angry with that friend. Our response should be the same as the broccoli situation – thanking the friend for being willing to tell us about the offense and working to remove the sin from our life.

We can’t always see the sin that is so obvious to those around us. While it is not fun to have your sin pointed out by someone else, it is a mercy and a supreme act of love for them to do so.

Now let’s flip the situation around. How many of us ASK those around us if they have observed sin in our lives? To go further, how many of us ask God to show us the sin in our lives so we can rid ourselves of it? Well, that’s precisely what David does in Psalm 139:23-24: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.” In Deborah Howard’s book Sunsets, she says this about this passage:

Obviously, David trusted not in his own abilities but in God, his Father, to lead him and direct his paths in a way pleasing to Him. How many of us ever ask God to show us what there is in or about us that is offensive to Him, so we can get rid of it and live a life pleasing to Him? Instead, don’t we just carelessly go about our lives, comfortable in our own “goodness” and not concerned with how we look in the eyes of God?

That last sentence really struck me when I read it. Unfortunately, many of us are more concerned with how we look (our physical appearance) before men than with how we look (our spiritual appearance) before God. We spend a lot of time on personal hygiene so we don’t offend those around us. We spend time and money on clothes, make-up, and other things to make us look appealing to those around us. But how much time do we spend “cleaning up” our spiritual lives so that we don’t offend a holy God? In my own life, I would have to say the answer is not enough.

So if you see sin in my life, please tell me. And if you see broccoli in my teeth, please tell me that, too.


boo4baby said...

This is part of what is so heavy on my heart! Thanks for sharing. I want friends like that. I want us to be sharing with each other about all of the broccoli they see......gently of course, but if you are a true friend you will tell me! At least I believe you and I could be that kind of friend to each other. Thanks for the post!

Baroness Insomniac said...

Honestly, were someone to point out what they "thought" was sin in my life, I would probably refer them to Luke 6:39-42 and Matthew 7:1-5. The problem here, I think, is that many would try to judge others by their own legalistic standards and not by what the Word says. And quite honestly, if we cannot see the beam in our own eyes, as the Bible I believe teaches here, then we are incapable seeing clearly. Can't see your own beam but can see someone else's splinter? Ut oh! That sounds like pride, doesn't it?

So to this, I'd have to say, if you see sin in my life, pray for me because I know my Heavenly Father can see clearly and humans cannot do this. I'd much rather pray for another person than to risk wounding a soul over something the Lord handles much better than I ever could. I've nothing I haven't received and I am nothing. He is everything! He is perfect! xxx

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