Cleaning Up The Mess

September 14, 2019
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1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (NIV)

My friend was dropping by one morning for a short visit, so I spent a few minutes beforehand tidying up things in preparation. Okay, I may have just been moving a little stack of books and papers from one place to another out of sight, but it did make my living room look temporarily presentable enough for company!

It occurred to me that it seems to take at least twice as long to tidy up a mess than it did to create it in the first place. How easy it is just to drop a garment or a book on a convenient flat surface or chair with the intention of putting it away later! It is often more a matter of clutter or carelessness than of deep-down filth, but it still must be dealt with frequently to keep things in order and to keep them from getting out of hand.

So it is with daily life. That cross word or impatient look can come so quickly and easily, but there may be resulting damage that takes twice as long to undo as it did to do it in the first place. Sometimes, I feel as though I should travel through life with a little broom and dustpan in hand to clean up the little messes that I make along the way.

Not only is it necessary — and often painful — to keep channels open between people on a human level, but it is essential to keep things clean and open between us and our heavenly Father. Frequent confession of sin is required to ensure that there are no cobwebs or dust bunnies (to say nothing of mudholes or cesspools!) in the way.

What a blessing it is that God allows us to make things right with Him when we confess our sin! The promise of a clean, pure heart — as white as snow — is an incomparable gift.

Isaiah 1:18 – "Come now, let us reason together," says the Lord. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." (NIV)

Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, thank You for Your promise of forgiveness when we confess our sins. May we be as quick to confess our sins as we are to commit them! In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Gail Lundquist <>
Beaverton, Oregon, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    A wonderful assurance, Gail.

    Amen, Gail. Thanks for sharing. Blessings.

    That’s for good word today Gail.

    Thanks, Gail. I love the idea of a mental broom and dustpan to carry along the way.

    Hello Gail,
    You are so right that it usually takes more time to clean up a mess than it takes to make it. We must be ever thankful that our Lord is always on duty and ever ready to forgive our misdeeds when we come to Him asking for forgiveness.
    Thank you for writing.

    Gail, this is an excellent reminder for all of us~!!! Blessings to you!

    Gail – LOVED this devotional. Thank you for the image of me walking through life with a broom and dustpan to “clean up”! God bless you for sharing your faith.

    Dear Gail,
    Your devotion touched my everyday life as I decide to think before I speak, always guarding carefully in what I say, so as to speak with love and understanding with a pure heart. It surely does take more time to clean up the mess, than to access the Holy Spirit’s guidance before speaking. At times I am guided to not speak at all. Thanks for the encouragement.

    Dear Gail,
    Thanks for your prayer.
    Keep writing.

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