Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12
First an admission; I found a couple of numbers missing so I am not to #975 yet. I will get there soon. As soon as I fill in the missing numbers, it is on to John 12-17 to finish up the 1000 devotionals.
My least favorite household chore is laundry. I don’t like to sort it, walk it to the washer, move it to the dryer, fold it, or put it away. Laundry is almost as bad as dishes; it never gets finished. By time I finish the laundry today, the clothes Mathieu, Rick, and I are wearing will be dirty and the cycle begins again… arrgghh!
When it comes to my personal “dirty laundry,” that part of your life that most people don’t wish to share, I am fairly transparent. There is much in my life that I am far from proud of but, somehow, through the grace of God, I’ve managed to get through most of it unscathed. I will share it with others in an attempt to assist them in understanding the reason it is “dirty laundry.” I want others to learn from my mistakes rather than making the same mistakes and suffering the same pain or, even more, to have them traverse through even worse consequences.
I remember a young lady in a Junior High Sunday School class asking me, in these exact words that I will never forget, “Aunt El, did you have sex before you were married?” I heard her clearly but in an instant I had to decide – do I answer truthfully, do I skirt the question until I can get her parents’ approval to answer truthfully, or do I answer untruthfully so she will “respect” me as a teacher and adult? I remember my next words beginning with “yes but…” From there I can’t remember any words but I know the class ended up with a discussion, led by the Spirit of God, of “do as I say, not as I did” and the reasons for chaste behavior and maintaining purity before marriage. I remember thinking on my way home, “that is exactly what you get for telling Junior High kids that they can ask (or tell) you anything.
Yet, there is a major difference between me “airing my dirty laundry” and someone else “airing MY dirty laundry,” regardless of whether it is the truth or not! Sometimes it is hard to remember that, even when you are speaking the truth, sharing information about ANYONE without their prior permission is gossip, pure and simple!! Airing my own dirty laundry can be embarrassing, that’s for sure, but airing someone else’s can be painful to them or those that love them. As the Bible tells us, in Psalm 34:13, “keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies.”
I would be true, for there are those who trust me;
I would be pure, for there are those who care;
I would be strong, for there is much to suffer;
I would be brave, for there is much to dare.
I would be friend of all—the foe, the friendless;
I would be giving, and forget the gift;
I would be humble, for I know my weakness;
I would look up, and laugh, and love, and lift.
I would be faithful through each passing moment;
I would be constantly in touch with God;
I would be strong to follow where He leads me;
I would have faith to keep the path Christ trod.
(lyrics by Howard A. Walter 1906)
Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society
Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone
Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org