If we would conduct surprise inspections—on our own barracks—we could measure ourselves against the standard of Scripture instead of gauging by comparison.
It wasn’t a military barrack inspected by a drill sergeant, but winning the cabin inspection at camp was an honor.
I like things neat. According to my standard. I am not at peace when beds are unmade, clothes and shoes are scattered, and the kitchen is messy. I have snubbed my nose at a few unkempt houses. Even my own.
Since I never want anyone to see my mess, hiring a maid service is not an option. God help me if they noticed rotten food in the refrigerator or the sticky residue from a sugary drink spill. The prideful shame of a dirty, rotten mess. Never letting go of appearances for appearance sake. A maid service improves appearances with the measuring system of passing the white-glove inspection. The finger swipe across clean surfaces will not leave a dirty smudge behind.
Sometimes we toss misplaced items in a drawer, closet, or spare room. Appearances, at first glance, may not be what they seem. Like our hearts and minds. Messy drawers of unlovely thoughts. The dirty laundry pile of gossip. Shelves holding dust collecting accolades of earth, leaving no room for the heavenly ones. Cobwebs of dirt and grit—spun by self-deception—in the closets of our hearts.
In Christ, we have a spiritual housekeeper. The Holy Spirit cleanses us according to God’s standard where we fare better in the Spirit’s white-glove test. Smudges of dirt become less noticeable when the cleansing power of God’s Word is changing us into holy men and women of God. A God-help-me process.
During a nose-snubbing season of my life, I applied for membership to an upscale, private community, The Holier-Than-Thou Country Club. They only accept un-messy members. I was blackballed by secret ballot. Another nose-snubber perhaps? I belong to a more open membership club, The Messy Life Club. Members are encouraged to use our noses for our own prideful shame of a dirty rotten mess.
Don’t look at your neighbor’s mess. We have a housekeeper. The Holy Spirit will cleanse us for holiness. Give him the inspection go-ahead.
(Photo courtesy of morguefile and seemann.)
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