The other day I had an ordinary, everday conversation with my son that went like this:
Me, “TJ, please take a shower (because he smells after a bike ride).”
Me: “TJ – did you just shower and put back on the same sweaty clothes from your bike ride?”
I cannot tell you how many times I have to remind my son that once he cleans his body, he needs to put on clean clothes – not dirty ones. What is the point of cleansing if you put back on the old dirty stuff that made you stink in the first place?
Do you see where I am going with this?
I am so guilty of this in my faith life. I pour my heart and soul into my confession to God. I ask for forgiveness of my sins. I walk away feeling new, fresh and clean; then I decide to do the very same things that I just confessed. I dirty myself up all over again.
I gossip. I judge. I lose my temper with my kids. I overeat. I am prideful.
So, why do I take the time to confess if I am just going to go right back and fill my soul with more sin?
The problem isn’t within the idea of confession. The problem is I am spring cleaning my soul, and then I forget to fill it with God. A good friend of mine recently told me a scripture from the bible that fits this perfectly.
Matthew 12:44-45 Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came’; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. 45″Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation.”
Did you read that? When the demon returns to the house (or our clean soul), it finds everything has been cleansed. It doesn’t turn and run away. It brings more evil spirits so that they all can dirty up that clean house. The demons are able to do this because the soul cleansed itself and forgot to re-fill itself with God. It was empty and clean, so the demons were able to take it over.
If I don’t come up with a plan of how I am going to stop committing the same sins over and over again, then evil will have an opening to snatch up my soul. Spending time in scripture, talking with God and asking God for help is so important after we confess our sins to God. Make a plan.
So when I was annoyed with my son the other day for putting back on his dirty clothes, I should have been thanking him. He actually taught me a very good lesson. You see I had to ask myself, “Why on earth would he want to put back on dirty clothes? Why wouldn’t he just assume that clean clothes would be better?” Maybe he needed to see the big picture of why this easy solution was so wrong – the stink will just come back and your mama will start complaining again.
Maybe I needed to see that falling back into the same trap of sin over and over again was not helping me become a better follower of Christ – it actually is stunting my growth in my faith. I cannot learn to trust God, follow God and understand God if I just keep falling in the same trap.
Cleaning is important, but even more important is cleaning with a purpose in mind. That purpose is to please God. Don’t just leave your soul empty and clean, but find a place for God to snuggle down and make your house a home. Find a place for God to reside and protect you from future attacks. Come up with your plan to tackle those sins one at a time, and fill that soul with God