With three boys now, I’m seeing a fair amount of filth around us. If it’s not an excreted material, it’s a pulverized food product, or some sticky conglomerated mass composed of items A and/or B combined with other household objects. It’s not pleasant.
Today my oldest got into the spackle and dutifully applied it to not only to the walls, but also his younger brother. At least it doesn’t smell bad…
…But now the serious point: We have this massive amount of cleaning tools, equipment and supplies that we use on a daily basis to scrub ourselves, our children, our tables, floors, cars, etc. It’s sort of amazing how much effort we put into it. I think the wife and I are a little on the freakish side of obsessive compulsive cleaning but still, I would bet that most people spend an enormous part of their life cleaning. I think about people in the past… I have a strangely realistic-feeling episode in my head of “neolithic” people huddled in a cave with their bear pelt (carefully skinned and washed to remove the stench). And oddly I can picture that although we would consider them filthy, I bet they spent a LOT of their time cleaning things.
…But now to the REAL serious point: I don’t think we consider very much how incredibly revealing this is about us as Christians. An ordinary Christian hates sin just like your plain vanilla human (yum!) hates filth. It’s internal filth and it’s really pretty nauseating. But for my own part, I know I spend hardly any time at all cleaning out the internal filth with some spiritual Windex topped off with some heavenly PineSol. Why not? We’re so focused on the trivial filth of this world. Sometimes we complain about the bad smell of sin in our lives but we don’t spend enough time taking a shower in God’s grace.
We know we’ll get dirty again as humans but we still make a real and conscious effort to avoid it. Shouldn’t we have the same attitude towards spiritual gluck? I don’t believe “cleanliness is next to Godliness” but maybe if we synchronize the ideas in our heads we’ll end up spending more time thinking about our Godliness (or lack thereof).
There’s not too much else to do in the shower — why not pray for spiritual cleansing? I think I’m going to try to do that from now on.
For those of us that already have a keener sense of their sin and God’s grace, take this post the other way around and hop in the shower a little more often! Your friends and coworkers appreciate it and being clean is at least nice even if it’s not morally required!