One morning in high school, I was running late for school (surprise, surprise). I had a presentation later in the day, so I had to wear something halfway decent. I scrounged around for the burgundy button-down shirt I planned to wear – and found it languishing at the bottom of my ironing pile, looking as though it had been chewed by a cow.
After a quick glance through the window to check the weather, I grabbed a black cardigan to throw over the shirt after I had ironed it. Time was not on my side, so I took a short cut – one which I thought was brilliant at the time.
Knowing I was going to wear the cardigan on top of the shirt, I saved time by ironing only the parts of the shirt that would be visible after the cardigan was on.
Well, my plan would’ve been successful if the weather hadn’t changed on me.
The previously chilly morning morphed into a scorcher of an afternoon.
There I was, during the peak of my presentation in front of a classroom full of peers, sweltering in my black cardigan – and I couldn’t take it off! The entire back side of my shirt was an abomination of wrinkles.
That day, I learned my lesson the hard way.
But don’t we sometimes do the same thing with our sin?
We “iron” the parts of our lives that are visible to the public eye, so as to look presentable in front of a crowd — but all the while, the layer underneath remains untouched and embarrassingly wrinkled.
We portray a smooth front of patience to sideline observers, but hide wrinkles of bitterness and unforgiveness at the back.
We display the soft fabric of kindness to the public eye, yet conceal jealousy and stains of anger under our bulky jackets of pride.
We all know this isn’t how it’s supposed to work. There are no shortcuts with sin. Either we iron the whole shirt, or we will get caught unprepared by a change in the weather, with far too many layers on and no option to take them off.
With the grace of God, He can help us to iron the whole shirt.
In fact, that’s precisely why Christ gave Himself up for His bride, the Church —
“… to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the Word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:26-27).
Only by His sacrifice for sins can we be made wrinkle-free for all eternity.
So let’s ask Go to help us … not for the sake of those who can see what we’re wearing, but for the glory of the One who sees all and knows all, cardigan or not.
by Kate Motaung, Heading Home
Photo credit: Sporkist, Flickr Creative Commons