Let me tell you one of my dirty little secrets. Actually, its not dirty or little. I have an issue with laundry. (Yes, I help with laundry. My wife and I both work outside the home so both of us tackle work within the home.) I have this strange need for all the laundry to be clean before we can put it away. Do you know how often that happens in our family of four? Pretty much never.
Laundry perfection is about to happen this morning since we have been house bound for the last two days due to snow. But typically the clothes get put away when we reach a tipping point, literally, the clothes tip over when you try to pile them any higher. My desire for clothes cleaning perfection is plain foolish and inefficient. My good wife humors me in my quest for laundry perfection even though she is often the one who get burdened with the task of putting the piles away. My desire for perfection makes this chore more difficult.
Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for perfection. However, perfection can sometimes hold us back from things that are really good. One of the best feelings in our house is when the laundry room is completely clean and empty. There is actually an echo when all the clothes are gone! In our lives, striving for perfection can also cause other things to pile up to the point of becoming nearly unmanageable.
In my years of ministry I have spoken with many a person who feels they have to be living a perfect life to begin their walk as a follower of Christ. I can’t count the number of times I have heard phrases like ‘all my ducks in a row’ and ‘cross my T’s and dot my I’s.’ I have also heard many say, “I just don’t feel like I know everything about the Bible that I need to know.” I can understand those thoughts because I once thought the exact same thing.
The perfect example of life changing action instead of perfection can be found in Acts 2. Shortly after the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, Peter and the other apostles spoke with a large gathering of people in Jerusalem. Some historians believe there could have been tens of thousands of people gathered to hear Peter speak that day. After he finished preaching the gospel of Christ, which you can read in Acts 2:1-36, the action of the crowd is recorded…
37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.
The folks gathered in Jerusalem that day heard one proclamation of the gospel of Christ that would have been a distinct departure from the Old Testament law they would have known so well. There were at least 3,000 that day who were baptized because they knew what needed to be done. Did they have a full understanding of God’s grace? No. Did they know how deeply their new relationship with Christ would change their lives? Probably not. There are a lot of things they were going to learn as they continued to grow. Their knowledge wasn’t full or complete but they knew what they needed to do.
There are a lot of things about religion and faith that can seem overwhelming. Sometimes this is due to the fact that we allow things to pile up until we find the perfect time and circumstance. Let me encourage you to start where you’re at today in doing the things that you have been wanting to do. Perhaps you have been wanting to study the Bible with your family. I hope that Written On My Heart – Week 8 might help you with that. Perhaps you have been wanting to explore more of what the Bible teaches about salvation. I would love to open up the Bible and study with you, or put you in contact with someone in your area who could help with that.
Today our family is tackling our pile and I hope you take some time to tackle yours too.