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“Deep Cleaning The Soul”Categories: Christian character, discipleship, Midweek FR articles, prayer
The experience is a common one: we begin work on a particular problem and a deeper problem is discovered. Sometimes a minor surgical procedure leads to the discovery of a dangerous, previously unknown disease. Sometimes a home repair which seems minor leads to an expensive overhaul of plumbing, electrical, or foundations. Even a routine pickup of a room can reveal the need for a second-level deep clean when we begin to see dirt more clearly than we had before.
The apostle Paul encouraged the Corinthian Christians to, “examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.” (2 Cor. 13:5). When we follow instructions like that, we very often discover that our problems are far deeper than we had initially expected.
Maybe an effort to work on our continual fearfulness and anxiety reveals the underlying grime of selfishness. Maybe the beginning stage of working on irritability reveals the contaminating poison of pride at a deeper level of the heart. Maybe it is an effort to curtail some indulgent spending that reveals an embarrassing lack of self-control which has henceforth just been swept under the rug.
Does all of that mean that we should not examine ourselves so that we do not find these problems? That’s tempting, but it is unwise and unbiblical. We should not avoid the examination and all its accompanying baggage; embrace it! Just be ready to confess your sins—on both levels. That’s the only way that the first-level cleaning gets done, and it is the only way that a soul can get to that second-level deep cleaning that we all need.
The Lord has laid claim on the whole heart of any who will surrender to him. We should expect that will lead all of us to some deep cleaning of the soul.
- Dan Lankford, minister
[This article first appeared on www.eastlandchristians.org; it has been edited for this writing.]