Life in Christ is like the laundry mat. You bring the dirt in your life; the stains, wrinkles, soiled clothes and throw them into a process to clean them and make them wearable again.
That’s what happens regularly with life in Christ. We walk around in life being ourselves and when we come before Jesus, he lovingly points out the ketchup stain of vulgar language and jesting that has soiled out T-shirt at the family cook out. He will notice the mud at the bottom of our jeans as we took on the muddy swamps of work and the spirit of complaint which muddied our ordered steps. He lets us know that our pants pocket has a hole in it from where we shimmied past the fence of foolish and lustful thinking and got snagged as good judgement fell out of our grasp and we took grasp of the things we had no business grasping.
Repentance is like the laundry mat. Now once you washed out the mustard stain of mistakes, you may still see some residue, but the sweater covering of grace and wisdom can still make that shirt wearable and you’ll just be able to tell the testimony. Some stains need pre-treatment. That’s when some of those tough areas in our lives need an extra scrubbing with the stain remover in the hands of the Launderer, Jesus Christ. We need his blood, love, and sometimes firm correction to cause the deep stains to be precisely scrubbed out so when we STILL go through the washing process, you’ll come out like a new garment.
And now back to those pants. You see the mud and remember the mess you walked through. You see the one tattered pocket. So you throw them in the wash, ready to get your favorite jeans back. Once the wash is done, you’re clothes are ready for the dryer. That is the process of testing, proving, and getting out the wrinkles. You seem to go through the heat over and over and over again, but when the time set by the Launder stops, you’re coming out clean and pressed, wrinkle-free. You get excited! But then, in the bottom of the dryer, after you’ve cleaned out the lint-trap, those extra things that had to fall off in that heating process, you notice some change in the bottom of the dryer.
You didn’t notice the change before because you didn’t check your pockets. Your mountain of poor decisions costed you something. It costed the Launderer something too, his life. But he got up so we could get up too. He went through the process on our behalf so that we would not have to be thrown away because of a stain or wrinkle, but so we can be made right and useful again. He was the change that changed us. The change is the reminder, the testimony of the muddied jeans, the stained T-shirt, and the mustard stained skirt. We know what sin costed us, but now we remember what it costed Jesus. So now, next cook out, we are careful of what we say so that it doesn’t stain what we wear, the armor of God and the garments of praise.
We keep the change. The change enables us to come back to the Launderer, Jesus to be cleaned again, and again. This is repentance. We know this earth suit is easily stained, but keeping the change causes us to come back… with fewer stains this time. We go back through the washing and drying, and we mature gracefully in Jesus, wearable for work, useful for play, and comfortable for love and relationships. We represent how well the Launderer takes care of us and others want to be washed by him too.
Remember sis, lose the stain, but keep the change.