How That Sin Issue Looks a Lot Like a Pile of Laundry
In talking with women, I have discovered there is one of two things that they despise: laundry or dishes. For me, it is laundry.
I can stand and wash every dish in the house. I would even say it’s a de-stressor. But, give me one towel to fold, and it may lay there for an hour before it’s completed. I tend to think of every excuse to not fold clothes. Why? Laundry is a NEVER. ENDING. CYCLE. Just when I get all the clothes washed, dried, and folded, I have a new set to do.
Several weeks ago, as I was folding laundry, it occurred to me: Sin is a lot like laundry (and dirty dishes). Here are a few things God taught me about laundry and sin.
James 1:13-15 says, “No one undergoing a trial should say, ‘I am being tempted by God.’ For God is not tempted by evil, and He Himself doesn’t tempt anyone. But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desires. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is fully grown, it gives birth to death.”
Temptation, like laundry, is always present. Paul made it very clear that “each person is tempted.” None of us are immune to the scheming works of Satan. Because we live in a fallen world, we cannot escape the temptation to plunge headlong into sin. Peter reminds us that “your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour” (1 Pt 1:8). Simply put, Satan hates God’s most valued creation. He will look for ways to draw our hearts away from our first love, Jesus. The daily battle with temptation can be exhausting, and we can become increasingly discouraged. All of us have something in our lives that we struggle against. We are tempted with gossip, lying, self-control, selfishness, alcohol, pornography, and all of it is rooted in pride. Until we see Jesus face-to-face or until He comes back, we will daily struggle with the temptation to sin. However, we must realize that the temptation is not the problem. Sin is the problem.
Sin, like laundry, must be dealt with. I can wash and dry clothes all day. It is the actual folding and putting away of clothes that annoys me. It doesn’t take long for washed and dried clothes to pile up in my laundry room and then mock me. In my own struggle with sin, it is easier to recognize the sin and even confess the sin, but never repent of the sin. Repentance occurs when I turn away from my sin and choose to not do it anymore. Unless we are willing to put away our sin and choose to not engage in it, we will never know the freedom that Jesus offers us.
Ladies, God did not save us in order for us to walk around with the weight and guilt of sin on our shoulders. Paul reminds us “Christ has liberated us to be free. Stand firm then and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Gal 5:1). Dear sister, hear me, you don’t have to live under the pressure, burden, or guilt of your sin any longer. You can be free! But, you must deal with your sin. You must recognize it for what it is…an action, thought, or attitude that separates you from your loving Father. You will never know true freedom or peace until you recognize your sin, confess your sin, repent of your sin, and then put it away.
Sin, like laundry, is easier to deal with when there is accountability. My husband knows exactly how to get to his wife’s heart…grab a load of laundry and fold it for me (or with me). Folding laundry is not nearly as taxing when my husband helps me. And sin is not nearly as overwhelming when we have some who is willing to walk alongside us and hold us accountable.
Several years ago I struggled with a habitual sin that I never thought I would gain freedom from on this side of heaven. The worst part was Satan had me blackmailed into thinking that if I ever confessed that sin struggle to a friend, then my ministry and life would be over. I lived for years battling it on my own.
And then one day it occurred to me: I will never gain victory unless I have someone walk with me towards freedom. I took a chance, told a trusted friend, and the road to freedom began. Some of you may be here. You so desperately need freedom from a particular sin, and you are ready and willing to do something about it. Let me encourage you to find someone you can confide in and be real with about your struggle. Don’t let Satan blackmail you any longer. We were not made to do life in isolation. Let someone come alongside you and hold you accountable.
Solomon, a man with his own sin issues, knew the power that comes with accountability. He reminds us, “if someone overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken” (Ecc 4:12). Grab someone and allow that person, along with the power of the Holy Spirit, help you resist the enemy. You can experience freedom.
Oh, and for the record, the next time you come to my house and you see a pile of clean laundry, I won’t be offended if you grab a shirt and fold it. I may just come to your house and help you with your dirty dishes.
Ladies, let’s do this thing called life together. Know I am praying for you as you pray for me.