A few weeks ago I was at the laundry mat when a family arrived with a pickup truck full of laundry. I am not exaggerating–the bed of the truck was full. Load after load was brought in and deposited for sorting. The volume of laundry could have filled up to 15 washing machines. I overheard the woman on her cell phone say her family would only wash what they wanted to wear the next day, but she believed in washing everything that was dirty at once. What a great illustration of “just do what is necessary to get by”.
What if the dirty laundry represents unforgiveness and cleaning it represents forgiving and repenting. Should we just forgive what is necessary for what we want at the moment, but let the rest pile up for a later date? I believe the woman at the laundry mat had the best idea–clean everything that is dirty. In other words, forgive and repent from all the dirty unforgiveness in the house.
Here are some step by step instructions for cleaning your dirty unforgiveness laundry.
The second step is to sort the dirty laundry by person. Take a clean sheet of paper and write a name associated with your unforgiveness, and then under the name write each offence. Use a separate sheet for each person, because you never want to mix your loads of laundry too much–colors bleed and things get all mixed up and turn out looking badly. Your emotions can also get mixed up and you can attribute an offence to someone who actually had nothing to do with it. This sorting step is essential to getting things straight in your mind.
The third step, once all the laundry has been sorted, is to put it into the machine with soap and turn it on. The soap you will use is the Word of God. Just like you read the instructions on the laundry soap before you use it, you must read the Word of God to understand how to cleanse your mind from unforgiveness. Turning the wash machine on is very important. The process cannot start without action. You must add the Word of God and then begin to act on it. This process is called agitation (repentance)–a stirring up of the waters so that the dirt can come off. Don’t think this agitation will last forever–it eventually ends when enough time as passed for the dirt to be removed by the Word of God. During the rinse cycle you may want to add some fabric softener to make your clothes softer. You can do this by adding prayer for the person who offended you. This will soften your heart and re-fragrance your life.
The spin cycle helps to remove the dirty water from the load. Your relationship with the offending person will seem to be clean and on its way to being dried out to a wearable garment. But there will still be some residual moisture that must be removed.
This is where step four comes in. You must move your relationship from the washer to the dryer. The dryer represents time in the healing process. This time is filled with your prayer for yourself and the other person and your interactions with that person. As you interact (tumble around) you will notice that your relationship is changing and getting fresher. When finished in the dryer you may still have some wrinkles to iron out before the relationship is crisp. Tackling these head on in a face to face conversation should leave your relationship well pressed. You should now be back in good standing with God and man.
Enjoy your week. I’ll be back next week with more.