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  • Writer's picturePaul Hargreaves


Updated: Feb 5

Think of the various things we enjoy more if they are “Clean”...especially these days? Maybe we think of our hands, cell phones, door knobs, microwave ovens, computer keyboards, bathrooms, kitchen counters, refrigerators, clothes, sheets, pillow cases, our teeth, windows, car windshields. The list can be endless. It is still spring until June 19th and summer is just around the corner but it still feels like we can easily still think about “Spring Cleaning” when we still see that “Spring is in the air”. This week let’s take a look at what it means to not only be physically clean but what it would look like to be spiritually clean. This kind of cleaning might take a back seat to physically being clean but it should actually have a higher value. As the mentors of children we ourselves need to find a space to personally have regular spiritual cleaning.It is also important that we teach children what this means as well. This type of cleaning obviously needs to happen more often than one season a year. A daily focus here is not only good for our spiritual health alone but it also affects our emotional and physical well-being. Let’s think about the various things that make us spiritually dirty. It might be easy to see the spiritual dirt or sin in others lives so let’s just start there. Has someone...lied to you, broken a promise made to you, talked behind your back, spread rumors about you, stolen something from you, turned others against you? This list can go on and on can't it? Let me turn the questions towards ourselves now. Have we...turned others against someone, have we stolen something from someone, spread rumors about someone, talked behind someone’s back, broken a promise made or lied to someone? Ouch!

If we are feeling in any way dirty after reading it this way it is good just to come clean. It might be clear to us but recall that this must all first start with our own personal relationship with God and the sin or spiritual dirt that separates us from Him. It is most important to consider the health of this relationship. Dirty spiritual lives have to do with broken relationships and they need to be mended. Dirty lives need to be cleansed.

Help children see how each of our lives can be seen between three different relationships at any given moment. We each have a relationship with God even if we don't even yet believe in Him. We each also have a relationship with others. This triangle shows what I mean. This shows when each of us has broken relationships with God and with another person in our lives. The dirt of sin can have its effects on these relationships. In each of our lives we are responsible for three directions that sin unfolds...

  1. Our sin against God

  2. Our sin against others

  3. Others sin against us

Need a cleansing? Let's explore how we can deal with these three individually...

When I am muddy before God - Our sin towards God

Go directly to God!

Ask to be released, cleansed, freed and pardoned.

1 John 1:7 "If we are Living in light…fellowship with each other…the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin."
1 John 1:9 "…if we confess our sins to Him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all wickedness."

Say… “Lord, I am sorry, will you forgive me?”

When I sling mud - Our sin towards others

Go directly to God to ask for forgiveness and ask for the courage to go to the other person

Go to the other person - Say the 7 most powerful wall breaking words…

“I am sorry, will you forgive me?”

When mud is flung at me - Others sin towards us

Go directly to God to get a spirit of forgiveness for the other…not harboring bitterness.

Luke 23:34 Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."

Ask Jesus for the courage to go to the other person

Matthew 6:12 “…and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.

Go to the other – How many times? Peter considering all the things that people do wrong against him asks…

Matthew 18:21-22 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven times.

What was Jesus’ answer? If we do that math it would be 70x7 = 490. Well he is not saying your limit will be 490. If you study biblical numbers you will find that the number 7 has infinite meaning.

Say… “I was hurt by ________________"

Ask… “…was there something I did that was hurtful or wrong?”

We might also ask in this discussion..."Who should go first?"

The answer is...the one who decides to do the righteous or right thing.

Let’s help our children see what it means to keep each of our relationships clean, reconciled and mended. God remaining at the top changes all other relationships. He desires that we have a right relationship with Him and with others. When He is the Lord or boss of our lives and we are cleansed before Him that impacts all of our relationships. Family, friends, authority, needy people, acquaintances and even our enemies all look different to us. We should look at all others through the eyes of Jesus.

This same God is here...He is present while you are reading this blog. My hope is that you and your family hear Him say to each of you…

  • I can cleanse your heart in your Relationship with me…any day...any time.

  • I can cleanse things between you and others…any day...any time.

  • I can help you teach your children what it looks like to forgive and to live forgiven…any day...any time by the power of the Holy Spirit.


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