My mom cleans her home every Thursday morning. Like clockwork. And it shows. Her home is always ready for guests, and it always feels freshly cleaned. She keeps it tidy and “touched up” throughout the week.
My home is clean. But I found that adopting my mom’s Thursday morning routine didn’t work for me. Too often, Joe and I would be running errands, be out of town, or be helping someone somewhere on Thursdays, and my housecleaning would be the thing to get put on hold. I like things clean, but I confess that I’m also a piler, a (true) perfectionist, and a procrastinator—not a good combination! So I had to adopt a method that worked for me. More about that later.
As I grabbed my dusting cloth this morning to start on the family room shelves, it hit me that sin and dust are clearly first cousins. They both enter our homes and lives subtly. They both need to be dealt with before they grow in their scope. They are both among the things we too often try to hide rather than take care of.
James 1:15 (NASB) states all too clearly: “Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.” It’s this vicious cycle that always needs to be dealt with—before it has a chance to overtake us and move to the next stage.
So let me jump back to the topic of cleaning and share the method that works for me, because it mirrors my daily “heart cleaning” in God’s Word.
For me, if I can do a little each day, my house feels like it’s in a perpetual state of clean. Then, if I miss a day, I can simply get right back on top of things the next day. So, for example, on Mondays, I do all the bathrooms. On Tuesdays, I vacuum and dust the upstairs. On Wednesdays, I do the living room and family room. On Thursdays, I clean the kitchen and dining room (since that’s generally when we grocery shop, and I can get the food put away as part of my kitchen-cleaning routine). And so on….
Every now and then, I do a deep cleaning, spending a little more time working on those areas that I may have inadvertently neglected or that only got “lightly” cleaned at other times.
My spiritual cleaning is the same. I daily seek the Lord and ask Him to cleanse my heart of the sin that is there, because I don’t want it to form roots and overtake me. His mercies are new every morning for a reason! I need them daily!
And yes, every now and then my heart needs a deep cleaning too. Sometimes sin builds up, becomes “comfortable,” and begins to overtake my thoughts, my words, my actions. That’s when I have to pause and spend extra time with the Lord, willingly praying the words of Psalm 51 to Him:
Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
—Psalm 51:1–2, 10, ESV
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to my cleaning and make sure I’m not using blogging as a procrastination tool that keeps me from getting today’s…er…yesterday’s…dusting done!
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