I couldn’t believe the amount of laundry. It was knee deep in the laundry room and spilling out the door.
How in the world could they produce that many dirty clothes? And why weren’t the clothes in baskets? And if there was that much laundry in there, how were they even wearing clothes?
Those were just some of the thoughts going through my head as I glanced in my sister-in-law’s laundry room many years ago.
Before I had kids.
Now, I realize that insane amounts of laundry is just the way of life with kids…and a husband!
Lord, forgive me for being judgy!
There is something pretty magical about doing laundry. Dirty, smelly and stained clothes go in, and come out clean, washed, and free of filth.
So what about the laundry room for our souls?
Is there such a thing?
If you will recall with me, I have spent several weeks now, in collaboration with my pastor, Rev. Dr. Blake Wood, walking through the Lord’s Prayer with the imagery of the rooms of God’s house.
Our Father who is in heaven – The Porch
Hallowed be Your name – The Trophy Room
May your kingdom come and your will be done – The Work Room
Give us this day our daily bread – The Kitchen
And now we are entering The Laundry Room, forgive us as we forgive others…
Come on in, dirty clothes and all.
Here’s the thing y’all, if you are a believer in Jesus, then you are forgiven of all your sin – past, present and future. When you said yes to Jesus, your sin was imputed, or transferred, to Him and His righteousness was imputed to you. You are covered with Jesus’ righteousness and His perfection in God’s sight.
So why then does Jesus show us in the Lord’s Prayer that we need to ask for forgiveness? Why do we need to continue to ask for forgiveness of our sins when Jesus already paid the price for them? Did it not stick the first time?
Yes, it absolutely did stick the first time. Jesus paid the penalty of our sins on the cross once and for all, but we are still humans and we still will struggle with sin until we die.
Our continual struggle with sin though will not cause God to stop loving us. Nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:37), but what sin does do is cause a fracture in our relationship with God. It causes a break in fellowship with Him because we are letting something come into our hearts – lust, anger, pride, sloth, envy, greed, gluttony, etc. – and take the place where God should reign.
But here’s the great thing, God, in His kindness to us, allows the Holy Spirit within us to show us when we sin, because He loves us and is doing a good work in us. It’s the process of sanctification, which is the life long process of becoming more like Christ.
Because God is our loving Father, when He shows us our sin, he does not do it with condemnation, causing us to recoil at our grotesqueness and live in shame and guilt. Instead, he kindly convicts us, and allows us to come to Him and receive forgiveness.
So in our humanness, we will still sin, but in the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit within us, we will recognize those sins and go to the Father for forgiveness and receive forgiveness.
And we have the privilege of tackling those sins with our Father in prayer.
We can daily go to Him, confess our sin and in doing so, we understand that the act of confessing our sin before our loving God allows restoration of our personal fellowship with God. And when there is restoration within our relationship with God, then that allows Him to further His sanctifying work within us.
We may enter the laundry room of God’s house dirty, smelly and stained by sin, but He is always faithful to cleanse, forgive and restore us.
And in turn, God wants us to take that forgiveness to others.
We each are far from perfect. We will sin against God and against others and others will sin against us. But the question is, what are we going to do about it?
Will we go to God, confess and be forgiven, allowing for restoration to take place, or will we continue in our sin, deepening the fracture in our relationship with God?
Will we offer others forgiveness and allow God, who is the just judge to deal with the punishment, or will we harbor resentment and bitterness towards that person, which in the end will just punish you?
God is always faithful to forgive you. Will you be faithful to forgive others?
God’s laundry room is always open. We may go in dirty, but we come out clean.
Thanks be to God.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Eph. 4:32
God, thank you for lovingly forgiving us. May we also forgive others.