How many times have you heard the statement, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”? If that statement is true, many of us are in trouble! But let’s forget about the piles of laundry, the dirty dishes in the sink, and the toilets that need scrubbing. Instead think about spirirtual cleanliness.
I’ve realized that sin is like the buildup on my hand mirror. Everyday activities of applying makeup and styling hair causes a buildup of dust and hair spray on my mirror. Its such a gradual process that I grow accustomed to the distorted view and continue to use the same mirror day after day without noticing the barrier that is building up between me and my reflection. Eventually it becomes so noticeable that something must be done. Once it has been cleaned, I’m always amazed at how much more clearly I can see my reflection and wonder how I could see anything before.
In the same way, unconfessed sin in our life builds up and gradually creates a barrier between us and God. We don’t even realize how its affecting our relationship with Him because its such a slow process. Our lives may still reflect Him on the outside when others see us going to church and doing “Christian” things, but the reality is we can no longer see God clearly. We are reading the same Bible, but don’t hear from God when reading the scripture. We continue to pray, but feel God doesn’t hear those prayers. We are looking into the same mirror, but it is covered with the grime of unconfessed sin.
The good news is that cleanup is easy. 1 John1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” It doesn’t matter how much sin is distorting our view of God, He can clean it up. Isaiah 1:18 says, “No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can remove it. I can make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you as white as wool.” Once we confess those sins, the barrier between us and God is removed, and we can once again see God clearly.
When our life mirror is clean, our relationship with God will be pure. So yes, cleanliness IS next to Godliness.