Keys to the Kingdom
In my later teen years at home, my parents would usually “call it a night” before I did. Like clockwork, they would straighten up the living room before heading off to bed. It was their nightly routine to put everything in its place. One time Mom explained their tradition: “Back in the day, we always cleaned the living room before going to bed in case the doctor had to come in the night.” That made good sense to me because it was a good habit and good habits should continue even if the reason for them is out of style. That’s why I can join a few others in saying, “I’m from the old school.“ Another rule I learned was to always wear clean underwear in case you’re in a car wreck.
Generally speaking, nobody sees your underwear because it’s hiding beneath your outer clothing. You’re the only person who knows whether your undies are clean, worn-out, uncomfortable, or stink. Spiritually speaking, what’s on the outside is just a façade, but what’s on the inside (hiding) is the real thing. “As I think in my heart [which is underneath and hidden] so am I“ (Proverbs 23:7). Believers need to be careful of the temptation to harbor negative undercurrents in their mind and heart. Bad attitudes are sure to show up in your conversations, facial expressions, and actions. Although you try, you can’t hide what’s on the inside because it comes out involuntarily. King David wrote: “He [God] knows the secrets of every heart” (Psalm 44:21 NLT).
Everyday we have the choice to wear dirty or clean underwear. The Apostle Paul tells us that believers have the choice to put on Jesus or leave Him in the closet. “Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don‘t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires“ (Romans 13:14 NLT). If you’re so busy with going here and there, and doing this and that, you may not even be able to find Jesus to put Him on. If your closet of life is cluttered with stuff, Jesus will just continue to hang around waiting to be worn.
I enjoy going through drawers, cabinets, and closets to throw out stuff that serves no purpose. Christians have to do the same thing spiritually. “Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from Him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God — truly righteous and holy” (Ephesians 4:21-24 NLT). You have to take off something old in order to put on something new. It would be dumb for someone to put clean underwear on over the top of dirty ones. (If brains were gasoline, she couldn’t ride a moped around a fruit loop!)
A baby is coddled and bottled and that’s sweet. But if a Christian is expecting God to do everything for him/her, that stinks. God has His part and we have our part. Paul says believers are to “put on our new nature.” By the power of the Holy Spirit, we are to dress ourselves with the presence of Jesus every day — one size fits all.
The Key: Beware! If your underwear stinks, then you’re the one to change it.