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My Sinful Dirty Towel

(Something to think about when you clean) 

For those of you who are really proficient at cleaning and keeping house…you may be tempted to judge me, and I can TOTALLY understand why. You’ve been warned.

There’s one towel in our home that has not been washed for over a year…maybe…three years.

I SHOULD be ashamed I guess. Maybe afraid of people judging me over a towel, see tomorrow’s post. But what God taught me as I washed the towel by hand…it’s too good not to share.

So this towel had stains of when my husband worked in the military. He was a maintainer so his hands got REAL dirty.

Washing the towel today, I got a little sentimental because of what it represented. Our lives are different than how they were in the military. But I can say it’s not necessarily for the better or worse because I strive to be content at all times. It’s unfathomable the differences that have taken place. How God has provided through it all.

Which is why I’m grateful for the experience and the reminder God gave me… a towel is a towel but God can illustrate ANYTHING to us through His will.

Once I got over my sentiment, I was hopeful to see what God would teach me. I just knew this could be an experience I could write about.

Wow, was God good!

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The towel was NOT going to be washed with our clothes because I did not want it to taint other garments. Recently, I saw a picture that showed how if we are the light to others our light can “rub off” on others, and essentially that light they have can rub off on more people. A domino effect.

My friend, to my horror and sadness, brought up how easily darkness can do the same.

It’s true. When we are sinful, we can hurt others because of our sin or we can pull in others to sin as well. Gossip is a perfect example. It hurts the people we talk about, and it encourages those we gossip with to not only listen to gossip but partake of it (through sharing their own gossip) as well.

Well, the towel had to be separated from the rest. It wasn’t getting laundry soap. Nope. It got a special concoction I like to call…baking soda and dish soap. Haha!

In life, we need a special concoction, too! The salvation of Jesus Christ.

Post | Salvation’s Recipe | How To Receive Christ Into Your “Heart” 

We can’t seek it from others, only Christ Himself. It is only through Christ that we can be cleansed from our sins and made into a new creation.

(NIV) 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

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Having a relationship with Jesus Christ also starts the process of sanctification. There may be things we will need to give up that we aren’t aware of when we first receive Christ as our Lord and Savior. 

I had to wash the towel over and over in hot water. Rubbing the baking soda in and letting the grittiness of the baking soda get the dirt that had been clinging to the towel for years. It was a process.

Over and over, wringing out the water. It was oddly satisfying to see the dark water that came from the towel. It meant I was getting the dirt out! As the towel was becoming cleaner, the water became more and more clear.

There are going to be moments in life we feel wrung out, and when we think we could not possibly be wrung out once more, it happens again. It’s important to understand that God does NOT give us what we can handle. Only regarding temptation are we given what we can handle. 

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Weakness in Christ is great strength because of the comfort knowing He is enough, especially when we can’t handle it. During trials of our faith being tested, the moments we are shattered in sin, Jesus is still there. God is still God. His comforting Holy Spirit is ready to refine.

We do not have to be aware of sin for dirt to be wrung out of us. The sin may long already be a part of us. It sprouted from a seed planted from long ago. 

We may be holding onto sins we aren’t aware of like bitterness or anger formed from grudges long ago. King David wrote prayers of asking the Lord to reveal hidden sin. Sometimes it is only when we come closer to the Lord that He reveals sin. Conviction is not always what people think it is.

We don’t always have to have a moment of, “Oh, I’m dirty! I need to be cleansed.”

Sometimes, it is not until we see the dirty water running down the drain that we realize how dirty we are.

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An example I share a lot on this blog is unwholesome media and how that affects us.

Sometimes we just need to stop waiting to see if God wants us to give up a show or movie because it has curse words and nudity in it. Sometimes we need to give things over to God because we know it does not glorify God, we do not need any other truth than that. It’s hard to know we’ve been desensitized…when we are desensitized.

Once the towel was clean, I started going over the towel with cold water.

The beauty of being cleansed by Jesus Christ is how refreshing it is. The burdens are unloaded. We feel lighter. We see the truth better. We can love better! All because of Jesus. Sometimes we need those refreshing reminders of everything we have gone through and how God was there with us every moment. 

I know the history of the towel and where its been. I know how the dark stains got there before they were removed. The towel is clean, but there are some spots that have a little shade. There are some hints of the past before the cleansing.

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In closing, there are two things I want to share. 

In life, like I said, we need to remember that receiving salvation does not mean we are done in becoming renewed. There will be many sins that will be brought up to us we need to give over to Christ. This is all about learning to submit to God before anything else. This is all about choosing Him over self. The more active we are in this the closer we are growing to Christ and see His hand daily in our life! 

Second, what once was stained darkness has been transformed into a testimony. We have a story of who we were before Christ. How He made a difference in our lives to the point we knew we needed Him more than anything else. The change that happened out of accepting Christ. The proof that we are a new creation in Christ and how evident it is to those around us.

Before Christ, we are like a dirty towel. But after Christ…we become something else entirely.

My dirty towel became an illustration of sin and the Savior. Praise God!

Ponder Below:
Has God ever used something small to teach you something big?

Monthly Scripture – (NIV) Ephesians 3:19, “and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

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34 thoughts on “My Sinful Dirty Towel

  1. “There are going to be moments in life we feel wrung out, and when we think we could not possibly be wrung out once more, it happens again.” This post hit so deep! The Lord has also been teaching me this lesson recently – many of the things He’s been revealing to me that I need to surrender to Him are things I didn’t even realize I was feeling, doing, thinking, etc. It’s often the subconscious things we’re doing (or not doing) that we need to heal from and change, not the obviously bad things (which are usually a combination of all the small, bad things we’re unaware of).

    The #1 thing the Lord showed me recently is that I’ve been trying to live in my own strength, and not in His. It exhausted me beyond belief, but He allowed me to get to the point where I was so tired that all I wanted was Him. It’s beautiful how He turns our pain into our good for His glory! 💖

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You know it’s very true! When I was watching Youtubers I shouldn’t have it was because inwardly I was focused on myself and pleasing myself through entertainment. I was not making a conscious effort and now I do. I try to be very aware of my media. It’s been hard surrendering it to Him especially at the. beginning. But it has become easier.

      You’re right somethings are obvious but we don’t realize them until God shows us the inward pieces. Maybe this is also why we see the flaws in others more easily than ourselves? Great thought, Maggie!!!!

      Like

  2. Awesome post! I think God always speaks to us through everyday things if we take the time to listen. I was watching a movie the other day with my kids that I’d seen before. As I was watching it I just started to notice biblical concepts within the movie. I need to write it up and share on my blog. But it was just awesome to see how God can show us things through something as simple as a kids movie!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That is amazing!!! A fellow sister in Christ and I talked about even things that may not have a complete truth, we were discussing a Christian book that was watered down, Jesus always will point to Him if we are looking for Him. It was amazing to see how He put truth after truth of what to really focus on.

      That would be a great post!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. There was once when, as I was going for a walk (and over-analyzing and philosophizing about life as I tend to when my brain is given space to really think 😂), I started to think of how sometimes it seems like the entire purpose of the physical world is to help us understand the spiritual world. To help us know who God is and what He is like. Then I spent that walk testing that theory – “Okay, what can I learn from _____?” XD It’s so neat how things that seem so ordinary and unimportant can have such vital things to teach us!

    I loved the illustration of the water being wrung out of the towel, how it gets less dirty every time and how that pictures sanctification. It can be so discouraging when our lives STILL aren’t perfect; but Jesus is advancing in our souls! As long as we are abiding in Him, He is making progress, even when we can’t see it.

    I was also thinking about something someone else pointed out that has become very precious to me. This very moment, God knows every sin I have ever committed and will ever commit. He knows the sins that I have done and am not even aware of yet. But it does not change His love for me. And on the day when His Spirit takes me deeper into sanctification and shows me something new I need to repent of, His love toward me will not change. I’m one of those people who, when I realize Ove sinned, can fall into, “OH WOE IS ME A ROTTEN SINNER HOW WILL GOD EVER LOVE ME AGAIN.” Heh. 😆 But the truth is, He’s know about that sin for a looooooong time, and His love remained on me in its fullness, still. So as He sanctifies is, we can take refuge in His love! We can be confident in His promise to never leave us nor forsake us!

    The timing of this post… I feel like I lived out a lot of the things you talked about here over the weekend. Haha. God’s sense of humor, perhaps! Or maybe even just His loving confirmation. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing, TR! 💙

    Liked by 2 people

    1. He truly is amazing!! Recently God has been helping me understand grace. I’m the type who worries people often use grace too much as a crutch, ie. God’s grace allows me to do what I want. But I was also becoming fearful of not doing certain things constantly, which is legalistic. God reminded me how His grace gives us opportunities to serve Him with the assurance if everything is not always up to par that’s ok. The goal is that we are focused on Him, submitting to Him, and to understand there is absolutely nothing we could ever “do” that makes us dun dun dun “perfect” 😉 (this is a joke Olivia will understand). The freedom of understanding He is our intercessor and we get to seek Him daily is powerful!!! All of the things to draw us closer to Him and to show the love of Christ is something we GET to do.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I absolutely love the illustration! Thank you sharing what God showed you through this. You help so many to see God in our every day.

    I try to ask God the same, “what can I learn from this? What do you want me to know and how can I grow, Lord”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. His amswers sometimes will blow us away with His love and guidance. I’m so glad God allowed me and showed me how to write this post. I had worries people wouldn’t like it and I was praying it would speak to people. I’m glad it did!!!! Praise Jesus!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Praise Jesus! Been praying He would speak to people and so glad this prayer was answered!!! He is amazing at teaching through the smallest of things. I love how His parables used every day life for BIG meanings! I’m grateful a dirty towel could mean so much!

      Like

  5. Ditto to so many of the comments here. Great illustration, T. R. I, too, love how the Lord teaches his truths from our every day circumstances, and some not so ordinary, too. They are like parables.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Me, too! I have had some really interesting parables from unusual circumstances, too, like one day opening the garage door and a bunch of ants dropping down like they were coming down in parachutes. It was the weirdest thing ever. That was several years ago. I forget now what the lesson was. But, I definitely remember my surprise when it happened. 🙂 I am glad to know that other people get Bible lessons from those kinds of things, too. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

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