“I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner,” I thought with excitement as I cleared out the bottom drawer in our bathroom. My husband’s messy counter had been bothering me for weeks.
I can admit that it had been unfair of me to hog two of the three drawers for my own odds and ends for the past two years. And no, my husband didn’t even get the third one to himself; we shared it.
It’s no wonder my poor man had resorted to covering the countertop with his cologne, medicines, contact solutions, and other toiletries.
But now, I had this bright idea. I would transfer my things from the bottom drawer to the cabinet under my sink, and relocate all the junk he had accumulated to the now-empty drawer.
(I suppose I shouldn’t say “junk,” since everything there was necessary. But the clutter sure looked junky.)
I painstakingly transferred his items to the drawer, then wiped the now clear counter.
“Wow, that looks great!” I thought contentedly, much happier with the way the bathroom looked.
It wasn’t until later in the day when I was preparing for bed that I really paid attention to my half of the countertop.
I had way more stuff up there than he ever had on his half.
Body lotion in two varieties or maybe three, face lotion, eye cream, body spray…okay, two body sprays, hand cream…
I could go on and on.
But even as I looked at the display of my mess, I realized that it didn’t bother me a single bit. Because it was…well, mine.
Not only did it take me longer to notice my mess, but even when I did notice, it just didn’t irritate me the way my husband’s had.
Because it was mine.
It occurs to me that we’re just like this with other kinds of messes.
Or maybe it’s just me.
I usually don’t have trouble spotting someone else’s immaturity. Their baggage. Their quirks. Their biased thinking. Maybe even their sins.
In other words, their mess.
But how about my own?
God has recently convicted me of the need to be still before Him.
Those things might come before or after the stillness, but the stillness itself has to be the good stuff in the middle.
Because I need to give Him time to show me my mess.
And to show me more of Him, so I have the right perspective of my mess.
For Him to open my eyes to those “little sins” to which I’ve grown accustomed.
Those weaknesses in my character that I’m all too quick to chalk up to a personality quirk.
Those habits that I’m used to and quite fond of and to tell the truth don’t even really notice anymore.
Because the thing is, God has called you and me and all people claiming the name of Christ to a holy life.
“As obedient children,
do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance,
but as He who called you is holy,
you also be holy in all your conduct,
since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.'”
I Peter 1:14-16
Think about that, friends.
There’s this crazy idea floating around – and one I’ve believed in subtle ways myself – that it’s wrong to pursue personal holiness and wrong to exhort others to do the same, in light of what some have deemed to be more pressing matters. Things like poverty and abortion and trafficking and disease and genocide and an unsaved world dying and going to hell.
I will never ever contest the fact that those issues are close to God’s heart.
But I will not stop proclaiming that personal holiness is close to God’s heart, too.
You can probably tell that this has recently been a heavy burden on my heart. I’m pretty sure there’s a lot hinging on this matter of personal holiness, so I’ll be writing more about it in the coming weeks.
Until then, would you spend some time in stillness before your Savior, entreating Him to reveal your mess? To reveal Himself, so your sin-hazy eyes can see your mess for what it really is?
I’ll surely be doing the same.
Take the Challenge!
Are you a Christian who longs for spiritual victory and wants to grow in holiness? I want to come alongside you and support you in your quest for purity. That’s why I created a FREE 21-day email challenge called Praying the Scriptures for Purity. You can get more information and sign up here.