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Dirty Hands

April 30, 2016

My hands were dirty.

Like really dirty, and it was time for lunch.

Picking up the soap, waiting while the water got warm, I didn’t wonder if this was going to work.

How weird would it be to use soap and water but not get clean? That had never crossed my mind.

Every time before this, soap and warm water and some scrubbing cleaned things right up.

I had never even heard of someone’s hands getting dirtier while washing.

Wait, not true: there was that Trick Soap that people who love practical jokes thought was hilarious. Maybe you’ve seen it. Ads for it say “the more you wash, the dirtier you get.” To get clean, the victim just had to stop using the Trick Soap and rinse their inky hands with water.

How weird would it be to use soap and water and some scrubbing but not get clean? It can happen if you’re pranked. But typically, that proven method results in clean hands, because the products and process are stronger than what’s making us dirty.

But sometimes we forget that. We worry that we’ll never again be clean. And not just our hands.

We worry that after what we’ve said or done, how could God ever forgive us? Big question, I know; more than just my hands have been dirty, and I’ve asked that same question.

Some starting-point answers:

“There is no condemnation

for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)

If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and

will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

(1st John 1:9)

“The one who is in you is greater

than the one who is in the world.” (1st John 4:4)

How weird would it be to use soap and water and some scrubbing but not get clean?  Very.

Maybe what we’re missing in the more profound cleansing process is some component: the soap of salvation, or the water of grace, or the scrubbing that is growth in that grace.

God invites us to come clean in Christ.

And that’s not weird at all; that’s righteous!


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