BY CINDY KEIGER
Wash away my wrongdoing! Make me clean from my sin!
~ Psalm 51:2
Washing the car is a big job, but it can be lots of fun on a hot summer day. Fill a bucket with water and soap, get a sponge and some towels, and (here’s the best part) turn on the hose. By the time you’re done, the car will be cleaner than you are, and you’ll be happy for a job well done.
When you were little, did Mom ever give you a spit bath? She would lick her finger and then use her wet finger to wipe a dirty smudge off your cheek. Eeuuwww. Mom, that’s so gross! But it’s one way she taught you that it’s important to be neat and clean.
Even though you know how to wash your own face now, maybe she still asks, “Did you wash behind your ears?” And during the day, you might hear this question many times: “Did you remember to wash your hands?”
“Outside” clean is important, but “inside” clean is even more important. Inside clean? Yes, that’s what goes on in your head and heart. God sees your thoughts, both the good and the bad, the angry and the sad. Yucky, angry thoughts are called sin. David, a shepherd boy in the Bible, prayed to God like this, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; see if there is any bad, wicked, or hurtful way in me.” He was asking God to wash away the dirt that was hiding in his heart.
Here’s an example. Dad asks you to put your video game away and get the barbecue tools from the garage. You pretend you didn’t hear him, so he asks again. You whine a little but go to the garage. While looking for the tools, you find your old basketball and head outside to shoot a few hoops. To get your attention, Dad says (a little louder this time), “Please do what I asked you to do.”
You shuffle back into the garage, put away the basketball, and look until you find the barbecue tools. You are obeying. You’re doing the job. But God, who sees the inside, knows your angry thoughts: “I’m looking for the tools, but I’m really mad at Dad for making me put my video game away. He’s so mean.” God hears your thoughts as clearly as if you had said them out loud.
So, how can you clean the inside of you? A spit bath can’t wash away your thoughts! Even a bucket of soapy water and a hose won’t work! When you feel that your head and heart aren’t being very nice, it’s time to ask God for help. You can pray like David prayed: “Dear God, please wash away the bad; make me clean, inside and out. Amen.”
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