Dirty Underwear

First posted March 2011.

During my quiet time a few months back, I was reading through a chapter of an Old Testament book as well other portions of Scripture and found myself in Jeremiah which I hadn’t read in a long time. I found it interesting and encouraging. Especially when I got to Jeremiah 13. Then I laughed a bit before I sobered up and really dug into the truth of what God was saying to me.

Let me paraphrase some of what happens at the beginning of this chapter. God tells Jeremiah to go buy a linen loincloth (underwear), wear it and not get it wet. Then he had to take it off and bury it near a river.  Later, Jeremiah was instructed to go dig it up.

This is what Jeremiah wrote:  “Then I went to the Euphrates, and dug, and I took the loincloth from the place where I had hidden it. And behold, the loincloth was spoiled; it was good for nothing.”  (Jer 13:7 ESV)

God then said to Jeremiah, “This evil people, who refuse to hear my words, who stubbornly follow their own heart and have gone after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be like this loincloth, which is good for nothing.”  (Jer 13:10 ESV)

I was amazed at how creative our God is in describing sin. Any parent knows first-hand the joys of “dirty underwear” or diapers. And God describes sin with that imagery (timeless truth!). When God looks at those of us who refuse to listen and obey His word, worship other things with our time and money, well, our pride is like dirty underwear to God.

Sin is like dirty underwear. Ewwwww!

I don’t want to be like dirty underwear before the Most High God! I wouldn even want anyone to suspect I might have dirty underwear that’s hidden. But this underwear that God is talking about is soiled beyond belief. There is no hiding the sin in our hearts before Him. It stinks. It reeks. It’s a colorful and yet repulsive image. I don’t like the idea of myself in my sin being on par with that kind of image. I don’t want to wear dirty underwear – physically or spiritually!

How about you?

For personal hygiene, I change my underwear every day. How much more do I need to take off the soiled underwear of my heart (confession of my sin) and exchange it at the cross for a fresh heart, forgiven and ready to move forward into a day, clean and pure in Christ.

Yes, my heart (underwear) will get dirty again. Hence the importance of daily confessing my sin to God and repenting before Him. I’m not good at this and yet here is where there is freedom and power. Jesus does the laundry, I just need to drop it in His laundry basket.

So as I continue to challenge myself in changing my “underwear” I hope you will do the same. God is ready to cleanse and wash us free of our sins and give us a fresh start every day!


This post was first published elsewhere November 2010.

I was told a few years back, by a very well meaning Christian psychotherapist, that I should leave my husband because the environment was “toxic.”

I didn’t leave my husband but I did stop seeing that man. It’s not always wise to seek divorce as your first “go to” option.

I was thinking about this lately as it seems that there keeps coming up in the news things that have ‘unacceptable” levels of toxicity. Like baby food. Or lead in toys. Nothing in this world is pure as much as we would love to have it be so.

In essence, everything is toxic, simply because of sin.  I’m toxic.  I sin.

Our home has mold which makes me sick. It’s toxic. However we don’t have the money to move right now (short of burning it down there’s not much you can do about the mold inside the walls).  We did bring in an air filter which has significantly helped with my health issues that the mold was causing. Is the house still toxic? Yes, but we have minimized the effects.

Our food is toxic, and we’ve tried to go to more organic stuff, but again finances have made that difficult.  We can however avoid things that are more ‘top of the list” as we understand them: aspartame is particularly nasty and I had to do a detox for that as it was hobbling my memory. For different people, there are different things.

So my husband’s behavior and attitudes are toxic. The same can at times be said of my special needs son. I can’t avoid them and short of putting duct tape over their mouths (probably some legal issues with that), there isn’t always much I can do to avoid being contaminated. But maybe that is not totally true.  I can immerse myself in God’s word. He says He will be a shield:

The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Psa 18:2  HCSB)

I think that there are always levels of ‘toxicity’ we will face in this sinful world. Whether it is in food, mold, or maybe even the words or actions of others around us that are not easily avoided.  Only you can truly know what pushes that toxicity to a deadly level for you. However, in the meantime, take the antidote, the detox, the preventative; immerse yourself in God’s truth and in His church. And trust God to be your shield.

Blessings to you.