Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hidden Dirt

The topic of my previous post was on "hidden work." That no matter how insignificant, meaningless, or mundane our work may seem...it is all to be done for God's glory. But there are other "hidden things" in our life that need to be dealt with as well.

While the boys and I were cleaning house last week, in preparation for visitors, I emphasized to them several times to do their jobs thoroughly. As I'm sure you have experienced, "thoroughly" to a 13 year old and a 9 year old means something completely different than it means to me! When we washed our car one day, my constant reminder was, "Every inch must be cleaned boys! Every inch!" On the aforementioned cleaning day, it had more to do with dust on furniture and dust balls behind doors. Then there was the scrubbing of the kitchen floor. And the response to my insistent pleas for complete cleanliness? "If no one can see it, why does it matter? Why do you want the house to be perfect, Mom?"

The answer to those questions came to me later, as I was scrubbing out my kitchen sink. When I removed the drainer, I discovered some hidden "gunk" that I had no idea was lurking in my sink. It was hidden by one of the little legs of the drainer. No one could see it, but there was a small bit of mold growing under that leg. Left to itself, it could grow to be a bigger problem. And do I want that on my clean dishes? UGH! Obviously not!

It got me to thinking about the hidden gunk we have in our lives. Those "secret sins" no one else really knows about. They are just little things, after all. And no one else knows about them. The little buggers aren't affecting anyone else, so why does it matter?

For the same reason our hidden works matter: "God sees." In Matthew 6, Jesus warns his followers not to "practice their piety" before men, in order to be seen by them. They shouldn't give their alms to impress others. They shouldn't fast or pray to draw attention to their own spirituality. The reason, "your Father who sees in secret will reward you." (vs. 4, 6, 18) But I believe the reverse is true. If the Father sees our secret works and rewards them, He also sees our secret sins...right? In another passage, the writer reminds us that "there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed." All secret sins will, in one way or another, at some time, be revealed. Whether it is in this life or not until the Judgment, it will take place.

Just like that hidden bit of mold, our secret sins do not remain static. They don't just sit there and remain small. They grow. Unless they are rooted out and confessed, they will become even more deadly to our spiritual well-being. Until I sprayed that nasty bit of gunk with some hefty 409 "gunk killer," it was on its way to becoming a larger bit of gunk. The more it grew, the more of the sink it would have affected. The more the dust balls accumulate, the more they will affect my family's allergies. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but eventually.

It's so easy to try to excuse the "little," hidden sins in our lives. But really, is anything that creates any distance at all between us and God really small? In Scripture, we are admonished to "be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect." That leaves no room for even "small" sins, does it?

A little heavy for this lovely Tuesday day, I guess. But that's what's on my heart today. As always, I cherish your thoughts.

On a side note: Thank you for your continued prayers for our pastor, Fr. Joe. He is still recuperating, but making progress. We are so thankful to the Lord for His continued work of healing in Fr. Joe's body. Please keep up the prayers!
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