Playing in the Dirt
- October 4, 2019
- Posted by: Carolyn Mahal
- Category: Devotions
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:9
Recently, my wife and I were having a conversation over dinner. Of course, because it’s 2019, you all understood that statement to mean that she and I were at a restaurant scrolling through social media on our phones while waiting for our food, but I digress…
During our phone-versation, she began reading to me a post she found that had a list of ironic statements. I chuckled as I listened to her sharing these phrases until one of them struck that chord with me that always gets me thinking. The interesting thought was…
“The only way to clean something is to make something else dirty.”
Upon hearing this, I immediately began thinking about the truth of the statement. If you dust your furniture or wash a window, the dirt is removed from the table and put onto the cloth. If you take a shower, the washcloth and the water you used carry away the dirt. Even in activities where you don’t physically do the washing like laundry or going through a car wash, the soap and water used in the cleaning process will become dirty. We spent a few fruitless minutes trying to think of a scenario where something could be cleaned where this transfer of dirt didn’t happen when suddenly we came to a shocking revelation. We had stopped looking at our phones for almost three minutes and were having what felt strangely like a conversation! Thankfully, our food arrived shortly thereafter, saving us from further personal interaction without the benefit of our phones!
We live in a world filled with dirt in both a literal and figurative sense. In our houses they may be called cute names like dust-bunnies, but in our day to day lives we encounter a filth called sin. Far more repulsive than the ickiest ick, sin leads to so many problems that can overwhelm us. In fact, if sin were to cling to our skin like dirt, we’d make Charlie Brown’s friend Pig Pen look more like Mr. Clean! Sin is something that we all share, and unfortunately, it is something that we are unable to remove from our lives. There is no detergent or creepy robotic device that we can use that will lift the stain it leaves on our lives. Furthermore, if left unchecked, the repulsive nature of sin will lead us to serious spiritual health concerns including death.
Thankfully there is a way to be set free from the squalor of sin. 1 John chapter two reminds us that “…if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” It is Christ who removes our sin, no matter how grimy or disgusting it may be. So how is it that Jesus can do this when nobody else can? Just think back to the true statement that I shared with you earlier. Christ made us clean by taking every last speck of dirt upon Himself, or as Paul more eloquently stated in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
We were sinful, but Christ who was righteous took the sin from us and replaced it with His own righteousness. What an amazing and undeserved transformation, given to us by grace through faith in Jesus. Let us give Him thanks for this gift and share this great news with others who also need this spiritual cleansing.
Devotion by Richard Schumacher
LSEM Director of Programs & Services