Contemplative Cleaning

By Abigail Pasterski

Recently while I was on my hands and knees scrubbing the bathroom floor (it really needed it!) I made some observations about sin and dirt.  Maybe it was the Pine-sol that put me in a pensive mood, or perhaps it is just that dealing with sin and dealing with dirt are so obviously  alike, and I don’t naturally like addressing either of them!  Why should we deal promptly with sin in our hearts (and dirty bathroom floors)?

The longer I put it off, the worse the problem gets

I don’t know how it is in your house, but the longer I put off cleaning something, the worse the problem gets.  Which then makes me want to procrastinate dealing with the problem even more, which causes the situation to grow further.  It’s a yucky cycle, isn’t it?  One thing is certain, it needs to be dealt with.  Those pesky “little” areas of sin in my heart need to be addressed, or they will mushroom into a stubborn, difficulty-to-tackle problem area.  God calls this a “root of bitterness.”  (Hebrews 12:15)  No one wants to tackle an ugly cleaning project.  And likewise, dealing with sin that has been allowed to fester is even more scary.  Keeping a short account with God and others, frees me to grow spiritually and prevents sin areas from becoming monumental.

There are little eyes watching me

How I deal with my own attitude and impulse is on open display all day long to four sets of little eyes.  They take in all that I do, how I respond, what I say…they are watching it all.  It is essential that I live Christ-like before them.  Further, I will not be able to lead them to holiness in areas in which I am falling short.  It is crucial that I grow to be more like Christ in order to bring them along in those particular problem spots.  I can teach them from God’s Word for hours a day, but if my life doesn’t line up, I am failing.  My role is firstly one of example.

It simply will not go away if I don’t deal with it

Similar to the dust bunnies that multiply under the bed, dirt doesn’t magically clean itself up!  Oh how nice it would be to have self-dusting tabletops and self-cleaning toilets.  Unfortunately, it just doesn’t happen.  Neither does sin just “decide” to leave our hearts and minds.  We have to forcibly extract its tentacles from the strongholds that it tries to build up in our hearts.  It has to be dealt with head-on.

So how do we clean up hearts and minds in order to be more Christ-like?

I think the first step is acknowledging the areas that the devil is trying to tempt me in.  Maybe it is a negative attitude, or a selfish thought-pattern, or a lazy habit.

Then root it out by confessing and forsaking it, as I John 1:9 admonishes us to do!  Also, James 5:16 tells us to confess our faults one to another and pray for one another.  I need to be in the habit of saying “I’m sorry” to my children and husband.  I need to acknowledge quickly my mistakes in order to move past them.  Keep a short, and fresh account with God.  Make confession a daily habit with God and others.  Plan for regular maintenance.  This is critical to housekeeping and also to “heartkeeping.”

Lastly, look for ways to avoid the pitfalls in which the devil wishes to ensnare you.  Set up a system of accountability and replace bad habits with wholesome godly ones!

There is something WONDERFUL  about a house that sparkles and smells like lemons and pine trees!  Similarly, we want to feel the smile of God and hear “well done thou good and faithful servant” from Him.  Moms, tackle those areas of sin and dirt in your life today for the glory of God!


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