Funny thing about life… sometimes it’s not funny at all. There are days when I’m trying to sort the laundry of life and make sure that my thoughts are segregated like the laundry piles (lights, darks, heavily soiled, and the “good clothes). Perhaps that’s a little too metaphorical. So let’s do some laundry together and perhaps you and I both will get some things about life figured out.
The Lights and Darks
I have two sides… do you? There’s the church side of Shari. The light side. I love that side! It’s the side that gets to talk to Jesus, study His word, help His people, and do my Father’s business… it’s the side I honestly long for. And then there’s the dark side. It’s the side of me that fights with the light side for domination. I would love to bury it in a hole in the backyard. It’s distracting at best, it’s often times judgmental and desires only the best in life, no matter the cost. I try to keep them separated, but they occasionally collide and the colors run. I’m trying to do my Father’s business and something shiny pops into to my head or onto the side of a web page…I’m trying to help someone and then that judgmental notion wonders if I should even bother, they won’t appreciate it…I sit down to study God’s word and then something more entertaining comes to mind… I start talking to Jesus, and it ends up being a “Dear God I’m stupid” conversation when I know God has something to tell me but He can’t get a word in edge wise for my rantings and “please forgive me’s.”
The Good clothes vs. the Heavily soiled
I don’t even let them touch! My husband David works at a job where he may sit in a truck all day on a computer, or he may step out of the truck and get doused with oil and various chemicals that make for some interesting stain removal, usually impossible stain removal. There is no way that I would allow those grimy duds to lie next to my Sunday Go To Meetin’ clothes. Sometimes…I do people the same way. Grimy beer drinkin’, cussin’ swarpin’ people that blaspheme God. What about the tribe of liberals that scream for everyone’s rights but believe that I have none as a child of God? They make me nauseous. How on earth can I witness to them, they shut me down before I walk in the door.
Did they? Or did my divisive thinking separate me from them before God could work His magic through the Holy Spirit?
I spend a lot of wasted time going over my laundry lists. The light and the dark sides, God knows both. Good vs. Evil, God loves both. All four require treatment.
The light side is in need of exhortation. Hebrews 3:13 reminds us to “exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” We need the fellowship of other saints to encourage us to keep the dark side at bay because we’re still sinners saved by grace. I love that the writer said “while it is called To day;” meaning… don’t put it off until tomorrow, because by that time somebody might have already fallen back into sin. We all can you know. The problem with the lights and darks is not that they’re there, but that they go untreated. We don’t encourage each other enough and we don’t confess to one another enough. James 5:16 says “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” The proper way to treat the dark side is to bring it into the light. Not that the two should mingle, but that the dark is made known and then it loses its hold. But we’re afraid to tell our friends about our struggles with the dark side, so it bleeds into the light side until that side is dull and dingy. We need a good friend that is not judgmental, but righteous through the blood of Christ, another sinner saved by grace that know they too have a dark side. Do you have that friend? Are you that friend?
The good clothes vs. the heavily soiled require basically the same treatment. Non-judgmental Christians encouraging non-Christians. The difference would be in the stain removal. While a Christian’s stains are already removed by the blood of Christ, they simply need some freshening up; the unsaved person has sins that are in desperate need of removal but require pre-treatment. Before I can help an unsaved person become clean, I need to spend some time preparing my heart in prayer and preparing they’re heart for the Holy Spirit to do some work before I arrive.
My attitude can only reflect Christ if my heart does. They’ll only see Jesus if I act like Him.
I hope my laundry metaphor helped you today, it helped me to remember that I’m still a sinner, lest I look down my nose at a sinner.