Summary: Our text reveals the cleaning process of the soul. 1- Alienation 2- Reconciliation 3- Continuation 4- Glorification
INTRO.- How many of you men do laundry?
ILL.- Many years ago when my daughter Holly and her hubby Chris were home on a weekend from Lincoln Christian College they had to do laundry. After Holly did a load of wash she brought them into the room and dropped them in front of her hubby Chris and said, “There they are, fold ‘em up.”
I said, “Hey, what’s the deal?” Holly said, “That’s the way we do it. I wash ‘em and Chris folds ‘em.” That was many years ago when they were in college and had no children.
Of course, now they’ve been married 12 years and they have two children, ages 6 and 3. Guess what they do now? Chris does all the laundry!
Now, do I do the laundry? Not often. Elaine won’t let me. She doesn’t like the way I do laundry. I pour in some liquid laundry soap, then dump everything in together….towels, shirts, undies, you name it…colors, whites, etc. HEY, IT WORKS! Of course, I use only COLD water!
Consequently, though, I only do laundry when Elaine is not at home. And generally, it’s only my laundry!
ILL.- The Teacher was checking her student’s knowledge of proverbs. “Cleanliness is next to what?” she asked. A small boy replied with real feeling: “Impossible.”
Sometimes cleanliness does seem nearly impossible. Of course, I’m talking about soul cleanliness. Why does it seem impossible at times? Because sin is so strong, so never-ending. It appears that even once we are cleansed from sin it comes right back. Or some sins do. It is so very hard to overcome certain sins: greed, lust, ill will, anger, gossip, etc. Never-ending battle.
ILL.- As a father came home from his work he saw his little daughter who had been playing in the mud. He said to her, “Honey, you’re pretty dirty.”
In her childish way she replied, “Yes, I know daddy, but I’m prettier clean.” And we all are prettier when we are clean!
What’s the cleaning process for the soul? It all depends on the person you are talking to.
PROP. - In this text we see the cleaning process in its basic form. There are four key words.
Col. 1:21 “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.”
ILL.- In a Peanut’s cartoon Lucy addressed Snoopy: “There are times when you really bug me, but there are also times when I feel like giving you a hug.” Snoopy replied, “That’s the way I am, huggable and buggable.”
We all have our huggable days but we may have more buggable days. Did you ever alienate anyone with your buggableness or by bugging them? Who hasn’t?
It may be that you do something that just “bugs” the daylights out of some people, so consequently, they don’t want to have anything to do with you.
ILL.- When I worked for Safeway some forty years ago we had an old bachelor photographer who shopped in our store. He came in fairly often to buy a few things but he wasn’t very well liked. In fact, I don’t even know how he got any clients. HOW SO? Why? What was the problem?
Here is why. Nearly every time he came into Safeway he was chewing on a cigar and the juice was running out of his mouth and down his face. He was not a pretty sight, but I talked to him anyway because we were supposed to treat all our customers nicely. I think, however, some of women checkers didn’t want to have anything to do with him. HE ALIENATED SOME PEOPLE WITH HIS BAD HABIT AND APPARENT, UNCLEANLINESS.
However, I think more people alienate others with their bad behavior. Did you ever know someone that just irritated you to the point where you couldn’t stand to be around them?
ILL.- We had a guy who worked in one retail store who was a real foul mouth. He had a nice appearance. He was clean, neat and could be very polite, but once you got to know him, he was a terrible foul mouth and even worse. He would often talk about the women who came into the store in a very bad or lewd way. It was so bad I can’t repeat it. Well, after a little of that the people who worked in the store got very tired of it and didn’t want to have much to do with him. HE ALIENATED PEOPLE WITH HIS CRUDENESS AND LEWDNESS. He even used the “f” word often, which was totally against company policy.
I’m not sure he was worried about offending God but he sure didn’t use that kind of language when the General Manager of the company came around! He wanted to keep his job, but I guess he didn’t worry about his standing with God!