And what was evolving bore a distinct resemblance to my dog. I’m sure the DNA from the red hairball was a perfect match. Coated in a thick layer of dust and surrounded by a tissue explosion from an allergy season long ago, the slowly forming creature was scientifically fascinating. From a domestic standpoint, however, it was downright embarrassing.
Added to my housekeeping shame was the fact that it wasn’t my husband who moved the bed away from its place against the wall and unearthed this treasure; it was the nice man we’d hired to install our replacement windows.
And he was just beginning.
He moved the bookshelf in the living room to reveal enough dead leaves from the nearby Ficus tree to carpet a forest. He removed the curtains from my daughter’s bedroom and succumbed to a dust-induced sneezing fit. And he moved the television stand to uncover two distinct shades of carpeting—clean and not-so-clean.
When faced with the indisputable evidence of my less-than-perfect housecleaning, I had two choices: slide the furniture back over the top of the mess and pretend it didn’t exist, or clean it up.
The Church of Laodicea had two choices, also. No, they hadn’t voted to install replacement windows in the fellowship hall, but they did encounter a similar problem to mine—they had neglected something, and it was time to clean it up.
The third chapter of Revelation talks about some of the hidden messes—a lukewarm commitment to God, misplaced priorities, materialism, and spiritual apathy. And like my kind friend moved furniture so he could make improvements to my home, God lovingly slid back the curtains on areas of the Laodiceans’ lives that needed cleaning up.
Like the dust balls under my furniture, you and I often have hidden sins and attitudes we hide from view—until the day God exposes them. And then we have a choice to make.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock,” Christ says. My window man entered my home because I gave him permission to make my home better. Jesus Christ asks for the same privilege.
“If any man hears my voice and opens the door. . .”
The only way I can have a clean house is to sweep out the messes my kind friend uncovered. The only way we can have a clean heart is to remove the hidden sins and attitudes Jesus Christ uncovers.
And the result? Much nicer than replacement windows—“I will fellowship with (you), and (you) with me.”
So I ask: Is Christ’s Holy Spirit moving furniture around in your life today? Has he brought to mind a sin, attitude, or action that doesn’t honor him? If he has, you have two choices—turn a blind eye to the sin he reveals, or do what it takes to clean it up.
“If we confess our sin, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
So what’s it going to be—hairball or hardball? I encourage you—don’t take a soft view on sin, even “small” sins. Call them what they are (confession), turn your back on them (repentance), and walk in freedom and restoration (joy).
Has there been a time when God revealed a hidden sin in your life? What did you do about it? Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Lori Hatcher blogs over at Hungry for God . . . Starving for Time. There she posts twice-weekly 5-minute devotions for busy women. Why not hop on over and say hello?