I looked at the overflowing hamper and thought begrudgingly, “Ugh. I just did the laundry yesterday!” and then I immediately thought that I should be grateful that I have a family to do laundry for, so I should be happy about the dirty clothes cascading from my hamper.
But it felt fake. My heart was not in the right place.
This caused me to consider my next right steps. Do I “fake it til I make it”? Do I simply own the fact that I don’t want to joyfully do laundry for my family and go on with my day? Or do I pause, tell God how I’m feeling, that I know my attitude is wrong, and ask him to change my heart?
By God’s grace, I chose the third option, and I can tell you that I didn’t suddenly feel like throwing a party because I get to do laundry, but I did feel a sense of relief in knowing that I was honest before God about my feelings. I also felt a sense of peace knowing that God’s grace is sufficient and his power is made perfect in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). Eventually, I was able to let go of my frustration about Laundry Mountain through the work of the Holy Spirit.
Does that mean that I’ll never be aggravated at the sight of our overflowing hamper again? No, because my heart will be sinful as long as I’m on this earth. But I can trust that God is continuously working to make me more like His Son, for my good and His glory.
I’m so grateful that we serve a God who doesn’t leave us in our sin, but is constantly working in our hearts to make us more like Himself.
We have a responsibility in this work as well. James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded”.
I don’t know about you, but I find the Bible-reading and prayer part of drawing near to God far more desirable than the confessing my sin part. But we see here in James, and throughout scripture that we must confess our sin before our Savior in order to be in right relationship with Him.
I can say from experience that it’s not fun, but it is worth it. Jesus is faithful and will meet us with grace in our confession. Hebrews 10:19-23 says,
“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that He opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”
Will you join me in this habit of confession and repentance? None of us will ever do this perfectly, but by God’s grace, we can take steps to be obedient and trust that He will continue His work in us until the day of completion (Philippians 1:6).