Housekeeping Your Heart

When a young homemaker first starts taking care of her house, she will make sure everything is cleaned in her house from top to bottom. The trouble is, dust is waiting for her to leave the room. It does not stay clean for long. She will discover in time it is just as good to keep the house reasonably tidy and not do so much “deep cleaning.” It appears to be clean when it really is not. Taking this compromising approach to cleaning becomes very convenient. It also becomes convincing. People will come to her house and say, “You keep your house so clean.” The young homemaker begins to be fooled herself. She soon accepts it as clean like everyone else does. The truth usually comes out on sunny days. Her “clean-looking house” is revealed for what it truly is - dusty and dirty.

Jesus had trouble with people believing keeping the outside clean was the most important duty of being a disciple. The scribes and Pharisees were hypocrites because they concentrated on the appearance of holiness while neglecting the holiness which should reign in the heart (Matthew 23.25-28). You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all of the time. When the light of Jesus shined on them, He revealed the truth about their outwardly pious lives. He did not say these external acts were wrong. He pointed to their motives for doing them. It was not genuine. They were using those good words, actions, religious works, and giving as a coverup for wickedness. An inner housecleaning was long overdue.

Keeping up appearances takes up too much of one’s time. You attempt to show some people one thing about you, and you show another group the other side of you. Doing what a disciple of Christ needs to do for service to others and God is essential, but pretending your heart is clean makes all your good rot. Only those who are clean on the inside will serve the Lord with gladness.

Is some heart-cleaning needed? Now is the time to take care of it!