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Wash Day: Cleansed From Sin

It usually fell on Mondays. It was perhaps the longest, most tiring day of the week–not for the lazy or faint-of-heart! It was wash day, and it had nothing to do with pouring liquid detergent into a Maytag and coming back thirty minutes later to a load of clean clothes…

Most households in decades past owned a large iron tub, kept in the backyard. It was filled with water–often by the bucket-full. Then the water was heated over a fire  until it boiled. Clothing was seperated and washed by color in the boiling-hot water after soap “crystals” were added.  Stains were removed with a washboard and a hand with calloused knuckles. In time, the clothes were satisfactory for another week of wear. Linen napkins and bed sheets were washed separately with “bluing”, which added a subtle blue to the cotton but gave the appearance of like-new white. Clean clothes were rung out and  hung from the family’s clothesline to dry. If the weather was rainy, laundered clothes were hung in the home’s damp  basement until dry, which was a matter of time. Frozen clothes regularly swung from backyard lines in wintertime. In old times, washing away dirt and stains was an hours-long process!

Sin is like dirty laundry–grimy,smelly, stain-marked reminders of where we have been. And often, when we come to Christ to be cleansed from sin and receive forgiveness,  we have difficulty believing that just asking and receiving is enough.  Depending on our life’s experiences up to the time we receive Christ, we can easily fall into the trap of trying to earn salvation and forgiveness by doing our own “cleaning.” We’re unsure that we  will be accepted, so we go to work! Even asking for forgiveness over and over again for the same offense. But the only work required of us is to repent, or turn away, from our sin. This does not mean perfect performance from that point, but it does mean working with God to make changes in our lives–becoming more like Christ. We can never clean ourselves up enough…

1 John 1:9 makes the truth clear: But if we confess our sins to Him, He can be counted on to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. And it is perfectly proper for God to do this for us because Christ died to wash away our sins. (Living Bible) Believing the truth of God’s Word, what changes can you make in receiving forgiveness and repenting of sin, instead of working to become clean?

About Lisa

My husband Dan and I have three children and three grandchildren. We live in central Illinois. I am a graduate of The Institute of Children's Literature, a member of faithwriters.com, and a member of SCBWI. My writings have been published at chirstiandevotions.us, in DevotionMagazine, the PrairieWind Newsletter, and here at thebottomline.co.

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2 comments

  1. Great article Lisa.
    Many times the message ends with ‘you cannot do anything to earn salvation.’ It can be perceived that nothing is expected. The repentance part is sometimes neglected.

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