Do you like a good joke? I do; however, sometimes I find myself laughing at corny ones. I just heard a child call into the radio station to tell a joke:
What do you call a fairy who won’t take a bath? Stinker Belle
Corny, I know, but what do you expect from a second grader? I’m sure he could relate to the joke. There’s something about a bath that children loathe. They come up with all sorts of reasons why they don’t want to or need to take a bath. When my son was in elementary school I chaperoned a four day trip to Savannah, Georgia. We had been out seining on the beach and when we returned to the hotel I sent one of the boys in the bathroom to take the first shower. In less than two minutes, he came out in different clothes and said he was done. Growing up with brothers has its advantages. I knew something was a bit off. I walked into the bathroom and there wasn’t a single towel unfolded nor had the bar of soap been opened. I immediately sent him back to bathe.
Teenagers are quite the opposite. They stay in the shower until the well runs dry. While one might think girls are the ones who use up all the hot water in the shower, an informal pole I took indicates boys are just as bad. You could get a day’s work done in the time it takes a teenager to bathe.
As adults, we recognize the need to bathe daily, so why do many want to follow the practice of spiritually bathing once a week? There are adults embrace this habit. They pop into church on Sunday to get cleaned up for the week and don’t see the purpose in being cleansed daily by the Lord. The Lord Himself knew the benefit and purpose of spending time daily with the Father [Mark 1:35]. We; however, tend to grade sin. We say murder is worse than telling a lie, but sin is sin in that it all nailed Jesus to the cross. Even without intentionally sinning, we all fall short of living a life of perfection [Romans 3:23]. We need to be cleansed daily from our sins and unrighteousness to keep us from being separated from the Lord. We do not need to take up bathing habits from children.
We also don’t need to follow a teenager’s lead when it comes to bathing practices. Showering until the well runs dry isn’t a good idea. While the spiritual well won’t ever run dry (thankfully), we cannot simply remain hidden away in the presence of the Lord and accomplish the work He prepared in advance for us to do [Ephesians 2:10]. We have to get out into the world in order to be His witnesses and spread the Gospel [Acts 1:8]. In Matthew 9:12, Mark 2:17, and Luke 5:31 Jesus said,
It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.”
We’ve learned by now when the Lord repeats something multiple times He is driving His point home. The lost and hurting need to know Jesus loves them and came to die for their sins [John 3:16]. As Romans 10:14-15 puts it,
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
We are called to soak in the Lord’s presence each day and then take what we have received and share it with those we encounter in the world. It is what we were created to do.
The cross is a physical reminder of the greatest two commandments [Matthew 22:36-40]. The base of the cross, which the cross tie hangs on, is our relationship with Jesus. We must invest in it daily. Then, we must take all He gives us and share it in the corner of the world He’s placed us.
So, we have a choice. We can be like a child, a teenager, or Jesus when it comes to spiritual bathing. It’s bath time. Whose example will you be following?
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