It never fails! It seems like every time I cut my lawn I'm wearing a white tank top or T-shirt, and in the middle of my lawnmowing activities I reach down grab the hem of my shirt and wipe the sweat off my face with my shirt resulting in a dirty, sweaty, grass stained T-shirt.
After I am done I will grab the whites throw them in the washer on the highest heat setting we have, I put extra detergent and plenty of bleach and the shirts come out relatively white.
Compared to a dirty shirt, clean shirts are white, but compared to a brand-new shirt the clean shirts are not quite White at all.
Our lives are a lot like the T-shirt… Circumstances, trials, troubles, tribulations , and suffering has reached out grabbing the hem of our shirts and left a messy stain.
“We are all infected and impure with sin. (Life is messy) When we display our righteous deeds (when we try to wash off the mess), they are nothing but filthy rags…” Isaiah 64:6 a NLT
(emphasis is mine)
King David wrote these words after one of the most troublesome time in his life “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.”
Psalms 51:10 NLT
He discovered as king, even with all his power, a cover up was the best he could hope for. He needed a new created clean heart. He needed his heart RE-NEWED (new again). You see there is no amount of scrubbing, cleaning, bleach or detergent that could take a soiled shirt and make it brand-new!
So we try to live pure lives, and we try to be holy, or if you are not religious you are trying to be good or you try to be moral, and since the very best of our human examples are clean or relatively clean, when we raise our shirts compared to them, we think that we are all right.
Because when I compare my shirt (life) to those of pimps, prostitutes, politicians, actors, athletes and rockstars my shirt (life) seems pretty clean, BUT unfortunately that is not the standard of white that I am going to be held up against eternally.
Jesus Christ lived the standard, and if I continue to try to act like my right doing is the standard I'm going to be in for a rude awakening.
I was listening to Ravi Zacharias' Podcast today and he said this, "The closer you get to the holiness of God the more you feel the weight of how unholy you and I are."
There is a young man at work that wears white T-shirts all the time. They have got to be at least 10 years old, they are worn for the wear and they are off-white at the very best. If I stood next to him my shirts would glow in comparison. BUT he isn't the standard! I will NOT eternally be measured against him. Christ is the standard and against him I'm dingy and tattered, and it's terrifying.
All my scrubbing is of no value!
“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.” Isaiah 1:18 NLT
It's a good thing I don't have to stand against Him, he can take my tired, tattered, worn-out mess of a life and STAND in my place.
Make me new Lord, make me NEW.