Saturday’s are my ‘clean house day.’ It’s the only day during the week that allows me time to make sure most of the house is clean the way I like it. My mother had all girls. She was never fooled by the surface cleaning we used to do in a hurry when we were younger. It had to be cleaned through and through, which meant we couldn’t get away with making it look good on top. She inspected the details. We couldn’t just put away things in cabinets; the cabinets had to be cleaned and neat as well. What can I say? This stuck with me. Like everyone else, I’m busy all the time, so not everything gets the full attention I prefer, but at least I know most of the house has gotten the bleach-clean treatment I’m used to; and I feel good in my soul when it’s done.
One particular Saturday afternoon, I decided to clean out my make-up kit and bathroom cabinet. Before I knew it, my trash can was full of mascara, lipsticks, and hair products. I couldn’t believe how much stuff I had accumulated and had to throw away. I also quickly realized how much time, money, and effort I’d spent on trying to look my best. This is of course the way God’s children should approach their well-being, and I’m sure I’m not alone on this one. It demonstrates the dedication most of us put into our outward appearance. But what about the inner appearance? The inner part is what God values most!
Honestly, I don’t regret making the purchases or the time and energy I spend to look my best, because this is one of the ways we take care of our temple and make sure it looks as good on the outside as it does on the inside. We demonstrate our gratitude for God’s gifts by taking care of them as best we can. You and I represent God’s Kingdom as ambassadors for Christ, but we must never underestimate the Words of God in 1 Samuel 16:7(NLT): “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Our Heavenly Father doesn’t see us the same way as others, thank goodness! 1Samuel 16:7 is a reminder that the heart is more important than outward appearance to God. Society puts tremendous focus on how a person looks outwardly, on what kind of clothes they wear or how well their hair is groomed, but this isn’t Heavenly Father’s focus. He looks at the heart.
God requires that we clean house when it comes to the feelings and desires of our hearts, because we’ve got things left in there from the past, when we didn’t know Christ as well as we know him now. God tells us in His Word to get rid of the old thought patterns, attitudes, and behaviors we had in the past. Those things cause us to sabotage our blessings, and this isn’t what Heavenly Father wants. Sometimes, we have to do more than surface clean. We need to inspect inside the cabinets, and throw away that stuff that isn’t useful to our journey forward and upward. We need to make room in our lives for new blessings and greater spiritual growth; this is what we need to put on like a second skin. Some of us are still holding on to things like pride, arrogance, bitterness, resentment, and anger. We need to be praying and asking the Lord to help us release that old dead stuff so that we are prepared for what He has in store.
In Matthew 23, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, warned the Pharisees about being more concerned with their outward appearance than with the conditions of their own hearts. He said in Matthew 23:27(NKJV), “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.” We don’t want to be guilty of carrying dead things in our hearts like them. And therefore, we must pray continually like the psalmist, David, prayed in Psalm 51:10, that the Holy Spirit will create a clean heart and renew a right spirit within us. We must ask God to help us see anything that isn’t right, so we can clean house and be well pleasing to our Heavenly Father.■
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
“Let’s Clean House” written for findchristianman.wordpress.com. Copyright©2020. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!