religion column

Housework is something you do that no one notices until it’s not done. Some friends of mine actually like to clean, but I find it taxing and without reward. I think I’m finished, and another mess is quickly made or another pile of dishes or laundry needs washing. Clean windows and floors never last more than a day with a German shepherd in the house. I do my best to have a tidy home, but I’ve never enjoyed housework. My ideal way of cleaning is to hire a maid.

And that was my husband’s birthday gift to me — hiring a recommended group to “spring clean” my house. The housecleaners washed my cabinets, doors and window blinds, climbed a ladder to wipe the crown molding and ceiling fans, and then bent low to clean all the baseboards. Plus, they dusted all the shelves supporting my knickknacks.

Our houses can be dirty messes. Even unoccupied rooms need attention — dust accumulates on furniture, and rings form in toilet bowls. Add dirt and grime from interaction with people, and the fixtures, walls and floors need attending to with various cleaning products. We use all types of tools and soaps — laundry, dish and carpet — to maintain the cleanliness of the contents in our physical houses. Unfortunately, they don’t stay sanitary, and the cleaning process needs to be repeated.

Having a freshly cleaned house is uplifting — especially when someone else does the work. Oh, to be a child again when my parents continually cleaned up after me. And yet, that’s my situation again, spiritually, with my Father in heaven.

We’re depraved humans and possess a sinful nature from birth. We’re also affected by our broken and sinful world. Little by little, its ungodliness creeps into our hearts and takes residence. Our spiritual houses become stained with sin and filled with secular clutter. Thus, they need constant attention.

There’s a special S.O.A.P. for our maintenance of spiritual cleanliness: Scripture reading, Obedience, Asking forgiveness, and Prayer. Know God’s guidelines for living, which are revealed in the Bible, and follow them. Communicate with the Lord daily and include repentance. Regular introspection with renewed commitment to the Lord initiates purging of the harmful germs and clutter, and with Jesus’ assistance, our transcendent homes can be declared spotless. No sin is too dirty for Jesus.

By redeeming us from sin’s punishment, Jesus enabled complete forgiveness of sin that taints our hearts. This forgiveness — in which our iniquities are hurled into the depths of the sea and our transgressions are removed from us as far as east is from west — releases us from the burden of sin’s stain (Micah 7:19; Psalm 103:12). Through our confession and repentance, the Spirit removes our guilt and refreshes our souls. He transforms us from filthy rags to purified children of God.

When was the last time your inner house had a deep cleaning? The Lord used a figurative description of forgiveness saying, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18). David wrote a heartfelt prayer for forgiveness that can be applied to every sinner. “Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. … Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:2,7).

I had to pay someone to clean inside my physical house, but Jesus gifted me by paying the price Himself to cleanse my spiritual house.

Furthermore, He made a way for me to eventually join Him in His heavenly mansion — a place without sin and Satan — so it’ll always be clean!

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Cindy Rooy is the author of the Bible study “Trusting God Through Troubles & Tears” and a contributing author in devotional books and magazines. To contact Cindy, email her at cr4Him@gmail.com.