When I Don’t Shower for Days
Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God. 2 Corinthians 7:1
While on a guy’s trip, I don’t necessarily practice the best hygiene. I’ll jump in the lake every day, so most of the dirt gets worn off regularly. I do brush my teeth and maybe even wear deodorant, but by the third of fourth day, I’ll realize I’ve not seen the inside of the shower yet. As my whiskers get long and the grime starts to build up in my hair, I’ll recognize that I must do something before I get home. If I returned home in such a state, it wouldn’t end my marriage, but it would put a damper on the intimacy between my wife and I. While I’m in that condition, I create a distance of dirt between us.
This is similar to the metaphor Paul used in today’s passage. In it, he said that we must cleanse ourselves from those things that defile us. In our obedience to God, we grow spiritually, being sanctified and transformed more and more into what he wants us to be.
This, according to Paul, isn’t a passive process that we just sit back and wait to happen to us. Rather, he commanded that we actively do it. In coming to faith, God sees the righteousness of Christ in us. That is our spiritual reality as Christians. Now, our proper response is to make our fleshly existence come into line with that blessed spiritual existence. This will take a lifetime and we’ll never be made perfect, but daily, we must shower, deliberately removing the grime that collects on our lives.
If we sit back and do nothing, nature takes its course as the dust and debris simply build up. Today, we may tolerate one little failure. Tomorrow, two. Soon, we’re back living the old life. While on this Earth, this is just natural to us. We don’t inherently want to abandon our way for God’s, so daily, we must deliberately make the effort to point our lives at him instead of ourselves.
When we fail, we don’t lose our relationship with God. However, just like my filthiness puts a distance between my wife and I, we do practically hamper our relationship with God when we tolerate sin in our lives. If we want to know the joy and peace for which we were made, we must daily identify the soil that is building up on us and then, we must be obedient, daily cleansing ourselves from anything that distances us from the father.