Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, and make Holiness perfect in the fear of God." 2 Cor. 7:1 (The New American Standard Bible)
I was putting some clothes in the washing machine last night and a thought crossed my mind. Over the years I've learned many lessons from my mother who went home to be with the Lord several years ago. As I think back on them now with a parental perspective, I realize many of the lessons were taught in a timely fashion with strong reinforcement also at appropriate times. For example, I was still in High School when she gave me detailed instructions in the Laundry Arts and Sciences. The step by step manual of instruction was always prefaced with a clear admonition to "empty your pockets" before putting clothing in the washing machine. Ball point pens, paper products, chewing gum (still wrapped), lint and dirt, rock samples and other sundry items were all emptied on a table for closer inspection and then transferred to their appropriate locations (often other pockets). The reasons for this preliminary step to cleanliness are obvious, especially if you've run through the various wash and spin cycles your favorite L. L. Bean shirt with a Flexgrip fine ball point pen in the left breast pocket. No doubt the Apostle Paul didn't have L.L. Bean shirts to worry about, much less gum wrappers, ball point pens and automatic wash and dry cycles. He seems to be addressing the need to empty all pockets regularly when he urged the members of the church at Corinth to be cleansed of every defilement of body and spirit, and to make Holiness perfect in the fear of the Lord. So when is the last time you emptied your pockets? For some it may be a difficult task just sorting through the piles of clothes and other stuff that accumulate in our lives, much more to empty the pockets of stuff that impede our fellowship with Him and our brothers and sisters in Christ. Nevertheless – "As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, 'You shall be Holy for I am Holy.'" (1 Peter 1:14-15)
Father, prompt us often to empty our pockets of those things that will hinder our fellowship, worship and praise of you. Amen.
By Don (Maine)