Rinse and Repeat - Learning to Repent
Repent, Rinse, Repeat
Remember the first bath you gave your child. There is something extra special about it. The newness and the sentiment drip with every teeny-tiny soap sud. Pictures are taken, it’s documented in baby books, and shared on social media. 1 Peter 1:22
We too were cleansed when we first accepted Jesus. This first cleansing is the one we celebrate and remember. It also is richly new and sentimental. But, we don’t just take one bath and that’s the only one we ever need. 1 Corinthians 6:11
Fortunately, I haven’t been victim of this...yet (I’m sure I just jinxed myself), but many friends have horror stories of their toddlers getting into things they shouldn’t; an entire soap bottle, a dirty diaper, permanent markers, jars of peanut butter, or mommas makeup to name a few. The things they know they shouldn’t be playing with, yet it’s so enticing to those little minds. Once they get a small taste of it, the moment of fun becomes intoxicating, so much that they can’t seem to stop. Then momma, the grim reaper of fun, comes in and brings an end to the disastrous amusement. Their cute faces are laden with guilt, but the discipline is sure to come next.
Aren’t we like that? Our hearts can be immature when it comes to certain sins. We know that temptation is so powerful that once we get a glimpse of its faux fun, we won’t be able to stop ourselves until we’ve covered ourselves in it. In steps the disciplining. The hard lessons. The cleaning of our self inflicted messes.
Just like our children will inevitably get caked with mud or make a messy mockery of spaghetti night, ushering in the need for another bath, we too will have to repent, rinse, and repeat.
Repent - We have to acknowledge the messiness of our sin. Our choices and consequences are a packaged deal. “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” 1 John 1:9
Rinse - Then we have to clean up our mess. In the cleaning we should ask what we can learn and what we can do better next time. “No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening- it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.” Hebrews 12:11
Repeat - As we get older, we grow in wisdom. I rarely roll around in mud anymore, it is because of the practice of repenting. We also grow in grace, learning that it’s the change in our hearts that cause this process to become less and less necessary. “God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant.” Romans 5:20
I am so glad that God doesn’t see me covered in a mess. He sees me through the blood of Jesus, a clean new person. When the shock wears off of seeing our kids covered in that jar of peanut butter, we see our child. We see their sweet pursuit of joy in the midst of the mess, we see their face aching in remorse, and we remember that they are our precious child whom we love unconditionally. God sees us in the same way. We don’t have to be defined by the sin in our lives, but just like the never ending cleaning of messes or cycles of laundry, we do have to repent, rinse and repeat.