I didn’t step in it – this time. But my husband did, in the dark as he left for work early in the morning. Then he walked through our room, back out, and through the entire house to the back door.
I know, because his footprint was in the mess our cat had very rudely deposited on the floor during the night. The trail went from one end of the house to the other.
By the time I discovered it, all but the original pile had thoroughly dried and cemented itself to the floor – the floor I had just mopped the previous day. So I had a lot of time to think while I cleaned up the mess.
A verse came to mind as I bent this way and that to detect the stuff from different angles. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). I first thought of the verse because I had some sinful attitudes to confess and repent of while scrubbing up that mess.
Then, with cleaning on my mind, I thought about how God cleanses us from our sins when we confess them. The best way to deal with a yucky mess on the floor is to clean it up right away. It may be unpleasant, but it saves a whole lot more mess. Leave it, and it’s bound to get stepped in. Ignore it and it dries and becomes much harder to clean up.
The same is true of sin. My ingratitude, anger, impatience, and self-pity are like that big, wet, icky pile in the middle of the floor. If I don’t see my sin, if I don’t acknowledge it and confess and repent of it, it is sure to get “stepped in.” Someone comes along, picks up on my sinful attitude or reacts with their own sinful attitude, and pretty soon that sin is tracked “all over the house”. My sin contributes to the sins of others.
If I choose to ignore my sin, if I just leave it, it becomes more and more difficult to repent of. In the meantime, I walk back and forth through the house, tracking it everywhere I go, and teaching my children to sin in the same ways. Then, because they are simply imitating me, I find it harder to correct my children for those same sins. The mess just keeps getting bigger.
How much simpler to repent quickly. God promises, when we confess our sins, to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. The mess is gone. Erased. Forgotten. No more stinking pile in the middle of the floor. No more tracking it all over the house. I am forgiven, and I’m no longer infecting others with my sin.
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