Washing Our Hands and Hearts
“O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?” Jeremiah 4:14
“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” James 4:8
Washed your hands today? Cleaned your teeth? Washed your face? Cleaned out your backpack? Tidied your room? Cleaned your office? Your house? Campsite? Tent? Hotel room? Pocketbook? Car? Dishes? Cleaned off your makeup? Washed your hair lately?
Ever considered how much of our lives we spend cleaning ourselves? We clean babies as soon as they’re born, right? Then we clean them until they grow old enough to clean themselves. We clean the cuts, scrapes, and bruises of kids as they grow older. Then we teach kids to clean themselves. We clean ourselves because it’s inherent and ingrained in us. We clean ourselves for sanitary reasons. Because it’s expected of us. To feel good. To feel better. To look good. To look better. Because it’s required. We clean up when we wake up. We clean up to go out. We clean our teeth. We clean others as caregivers, medical professionals, and hairstylists. We clean our stuff. We clean houses, cars, pocketbooks, whatever. We clean up after ourselves. We should anyway. We clean our dishes. We don’t just clean babies after birth. We clean the bodies of those who have died. We live in a culture of cleaning, don’t we? Some of us are obsessed with cleaning. Others could do a better job of it. From start to finish of our lives, we spend untold amounts of time cleaning ourselves. Why? For ourselves. And for others. But how much of the time do we spend cleaning our hearts and hands for the Lord?
When we stand before the Lord when our lives on this earth are over, we will not give an account of the cleanliness of our teeth and cars, our suitcases or toenails, nor of our bodies buried in the ground. We will be accountable for the purity of our hearts and for the cleanliness of our hands, of how we used our hearts and hands to bring glory to the Lord in the way we loved, revered, worshiped and served Him – or how we did not. Just as we stand in the shower and cleanse ourselves of this world’s dirt, we need to stand in the shower of the Lord’s love and mercy, repent of our wicked thoughts and sinful ways, receive His forgiveness, and strive in the strength of His Spirit through the power of His Word to live the righteous, clean lives to which He has called us.
We need to clean our hearts, minds, and hands – our words, thoughts, and actions – daily. Not for this world. For the glory of the Lord!