I have learned much about the gospel this past week through one habitual act in my life, changing my daughter Gracelyn Rae’s diapers.
I never would have dreamed of typing that sentence, but here we are. Bear with me. Either my sleep-deprivation has done irreversible damage or this might actually make sense.
Saturday night I spent some time studying the book of Colossians, particularly chapter 3 and the “put off” and “put on” passages.
Let’s look together at what characterizes those who live outside of the Spirit of God:
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices – Colossians 3:5-9
These are the behaviors I fall into when I don’t actively and intentionally walk with the Spirit in my day to day life. We all can find ourselves in these sins. Sexual brokenness, desires for earthly things, anger and vulgarity, deception and envy. None of us can act like we’re above these behaviors.
We are to put these things off of us. We’ve been cleansed and healed. We have been made right with Christ and raised with Him (vv. 1-4).
I love my daughter so much already. But I’m not gonna lie, she can do some damage in a diaper. I’ve changed some rough ones. I’ve cleaned her up, and then I’ve thrown away the diaper.
Now, imagine with me that I would use some WaterWipes (if you work for the company that produces these, feel free to sponsor me) and then put that soiled, stinky diaper back on my baby girl. You would think (and be right) that I had lost my mind. That’s grotesque.
You know what else is equally grotesque?
My ongoing sin.
For me to be cleansed by the spilled blood of Christ and yet return to a life style of unrepentant anger, slander, vulgarity and lust is grotesque.
We’d never put a poop-filled diaper back on an infant, but we will walk around claiming Jesus while living in such mired and messed up sin as the above list from Colossians.
Church, let it not be so.
We must take sin seriously. We must put it to death. We must put it off.
We need to put on Christ.
Look at this other, glorious and grace-filled list in this section of Colossians.
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other, as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. – Colossians 3:12-14
We as the people of God are to be distinct, and this is how we show ourselves to be following a different master than this world. We are to have a community characterized by compassion, not condemnation. Kindness, not brashness. Humility, not arrogance. Gentleness, not Americanized ‘leadership’ of ‘get with us or get out’. The people of God are to be loving, forgiving, and patient.
When I survey my life, I realize that I’m still wearing a dirty diaper (oh man, please don’t quote that without context).
I still allow my fleshly desires to rule my life and wreak havoc on it.
So is there hope?
Here’s where my sleep-deprivation may be on most display.
I’ve been fascinated by the Diaper Genie.
We were blessed with this gift from some patron saint of infancy.
Once the diaper is tossed into this beautiful blue bag, it is neither seen nor smelt.
That Diaper Genie is a lot like Jesus.
Our grotesque sin is covered by something (in this case, Someone).
It is not seen.
When I, Gracelyn’s father, look at this bag, I don’t see any affects of my daughter’s deuces. I see instead a pristine, pure, beautiful blue bag.
When my Heavenly Father looks at me, looks at my life, He doesn’t see my grotesque sin that I still wrestle with. He sees the perfection of His Son.
HOW FREEING IS THAT. We walk around, piddling about with the greatest news ever. Our sin is not held against us. Although our sin can be habitual, like changing a diaper, it is no less covered by the Savior.
Church, rejoice. Rejoice in the fact that God is causing us, by His Spirit, to become the people He made us to be. Rejoice that as we actively put our sin to death, we look more and more like Him. Rejoice that we are in Christ and He sis in us. Rejoice that we are sinful but saved.
Rejoice in what diapers and Diaper Genies teach us about the greatest news the world has ever known.
In His Name,
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