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The Clean Bits

I'd been meaning to clean the concrete for probably over a year. I knew it was due, but it didn't look that bad. But once I got started, the clean bits showed just how dirty the slab had become. With this sort of thing, you know that once you start, you have to finish the job, because those uncleaned bits suddenly look reeeeeally bad.

As I continued to remove the muck, something occurred to me about us humans. The ones who clean up their act and live their lives as God has designed us to, they stand out. The rest don't like that, because the "clean bits" show up just how dirty the remainder is. The very common response is for the uncleaned to throw muck at the cleaned. It's unpopular to live a clean life, one which recognises God's way as the way we should live, and seeks to live up to it.

When I looked back at where I had cleaned, I spotted small bits that I had missed. "Thylacine stripes", I call them. It's easy to overlook them when you're cleaning, but it's much easier to see them when you've put the cleaner away and the concrete has dried. Out comes the cleaner again.

Christ-followers know those missed bits in our lives must not be left, when we notice them. It's all part of the sanctification process — becoming more like Jesus. Those who don't acknowledge God are quick to point out the "missed bits" in our lives, too. That goes with being a cleaned patch of concrete surrounded by those who prefer to stay uncleaned.

Of course, the improvement in our lives, with all the joys it brings, is only possible because Jesus the Son of God was willing to take upon himself all that muck we had in our lives. Without his coming to our rescue, we would still be stuck in the mud — still encrusted with grime a whole lot worse than the grime on our concrete. The grime in our lives is worse because it keeps us at odds with God, who wants us to be reconciled to him, so that our lives are better on earth, and eternal with him in heaven.


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