Cleanliness starts with godliness

Hey My UnMessy Peeps: It’s time for another TaylorMade Tip for organizing our mess. And the tip is–cleanliness starts with godliness. Believe it or not, we can’t keep our lives and possessions clean, neat, and organized when our hearts and thoughts are off-kilter.

If is correct, the famous phrase “cleanliness is next to godliness” was first coined by John Wesley in a sermon way back in 1778. While I’m not positive, I doubt he was talking about how well the church floors were waxed or whether the stain-glassed windows were spotless. I believe he was saying our cleanliness is a result of our godly character. 

In Chapter 12 of the Book of Matthew, Jesus gives a lesson to the religious leaders (and critics) of the day. They had asked Jesus to prove his authority by performing a miracle like a magician there to entertain them. Ugh! I’m sure I am way more insulted than Jesus was. Instead of making them all disappear like I would have if I was God, Jesus called them out for who they were—”an evil adulterous generation” explaining they would see the greatest miracle of all when he rose from the dead after three days. Jesus then told the story of an unclean spirit that left a man in hot pursuit of another soul to corrupt and when it did not find anyone, verse 44 states, “Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order.” So the evil spirit likes the man’s new digs so much he goes out and finds seven other evil spirits to take back to the home, and the man is worse off than before. Jesus said that “this will be the experience of this evil generation.” 

Man, his critics must have felt like idiots and very unclean. 

But of course, Jesus, the master teacher that he was, has a message in this story for all of us who long to be unmessy in our affairs. His message is that cleanliness starts inside of us. This means we need to get our hearts and minds right before we begin to clean our counters, scrub the floors, and shine the faucets. And, before we seek to organize our files, plan our day, and clean off our shelves, we have to take a moment to search our hearts in the presence of our Creator. 

If you are not sure about the status of your heart, don’t be ashamed. We never know how much sin we have amassed within a lifetime, not to mention a single day! But we can ask God to reveal our missteps to us. Then we can do as King David did after finally acknowledging that he had committed adultery with Bathsheba and had killed her husband to cover up the crime. 

Thoughts in Action: David prayed what is known as Psalm 51. We all need a fresh start and a clean slate. I challenge you to read the chapter and make it your own this morning.

Only after cleaning our hearts will you and I be able to effectively and efficiently clean, plan, and maintain order without things becoming messy again. ❤️

Prayer according to Psalm 51:10-11 TPT

Create a new, clean heart within me. Fill me with pure thoughts and holy desires, ready to please you. May you never reject me! May you never take from me your sacred Spirit!

Photo credit: CDC

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