Coming CleanJon Burgess
1The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 2“When anyone has a swelling or a rash or a shiny spot on their skin that may be a defiling skin disease, they must be brought to Aaron the priest or to one of his sons who is a priest. Leviticus 13:1-2
I'll just be honest and admit that my stomach turns every time I read Leviticus 13. As a Pastor I put myself in the place of the priest examining people's skin rashes and mold spores and I instantly thank God for how things have changed in the 21st Century. Some things haven't changed though. People still need to come clean about the infections of sin in their life. Though this passage is painfully practical and uncomfortably precise, it is a also poignant reminder that God wants us to be healthy in mind, body, and spirit. Faith was never meant to be... skin deep. Our walk with God was never meant to be limited to an hour and half on a weekend service. When we say we belong to God He takes it literally and wants to speak into every area of our lives. We can try to pull our sleeves down and put a hood over our head and ignore the infection that's spreading. Or we can humble ourselves, confess our sin, and come clean in the Blood of Christ. As much as I'm happy to avoid the priestly duties of the Old Testament I can't avoid the fact that I too, must come clean before Christ!
I had my Nike's on. I didn't want to take them off yet. So, I just walked right into the house without giving it a second thought. What had I failed to notice was that I had tracked in some mud on the bottom of my shoes. Cyndi did not fail to notice. She then asked who had done this. Instantly I had a choice. You see our dog Maeby had tracked mud in on the carpet two days before and Cyndi had to scrub the carpets clean. Because I remained silent she called Maeby over to examine her paws. I could have thrown the dog under the bus easy. The boys are tracking mud in all the time so it wouldn't have been hard to just remain silent and have her assume it was my boys. After waiting much longer then I care to admit I came clean with Cyndi that I was the culprit who had tracked in the dirt. And then, much like the priests of old, I found myself on my knees scrubbing and cleaning the carpets to remove the stain. In order for our faith to be more then skin deep we have to come clean with our sin. In order to come clean we cannot stay silent. There very idea of confession demands a verbal conversation with someone other then ourselves. God will scrub us clean, but He will not force us to come clean. That's our choice. The longer we avoid the awkward uncomfortable and yet freeing process of confession the quicker that sin will spread in and throughout our lives and relationships and leave a lasting stain.
Lord, I don't want You to but I'm so glad You do! I don't want You to see everything but I'm so glad You do. I don't want You to call me on my sin but I'm so glad You do! I don't want You to care about the small compromises but I'm so glad You do! Thank you for not shaming me when I confess. Thank You for the Cross that has changed my title from "unclean" to "forever clean"! Thank You for the safe places and people in my life that I can confess to and who love me enough to call me on my skin rashes, mold spores and carpet stains!