Cleaning the Cup

Apparently, one of the most common responses to defilement is to physically wash oneself. By washing oneself outwardly, one says to one’s psyche that one is clean.

Sounds sad to me.

For example, hooking onto pornography, for men, can be a messy business.

Literally.

For me, one of the most common, immediate responses to this sin is to have a shower. I don’t know why.

And yet, inevitably, the scripture comes to mind where Jesus says to the religious Pharisees:

Matthew 23:25-26 (ESV). “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.”

Luke 11:39-40 (ESV). “And the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also?

This is a smack in a rump, I think. Jesus Christ condemns in the strongest of terms the sad state of the religious, who so often want to look and feel clean on the outside, but inside are full of wickedness.

This might not have the specific application I thought of at the beginning. It seems to me the problem is trying to look good in front of people and not deal with the inside at all. I don’t think that’s what I am doing when I shower.

But I think it highlights that what matters most to God is our hearts. If we deal only with that which is external, and not with that which is internal, we’re kidding ourselves if we say it’s okay, and worst of all we are defying God, who cannot be kid. Praise the Lord, then, for the Holy Spirit. He dwells in our hearts and intercedes for us with intercessions we are not even aware of. Bless his name!

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