The clean doorstep
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
1 John 1:7 (NIV)
Too many years ago, as I walked to school, I was fascinated by the number of housewives who, every morning, were cleaning their front doorsteps. It was a type of declaration that they were ‘clean to the door’. As I grew up, I realised there was a subliminal competition going on – some steps were painted white and some were painted red; some were covered in a kind of limestone wash – all were spotless.
Many decades later I had completely forgotten all about the fastidious housewives and their pride in their doorsteps, but the memory returned when, recently, I was watching an old Scottish drama on television. Two women were gossiping about another and the disparaging comment was ‘she disnae keep a clean step’; for them it was the ultimate insult – I confess it caused me to laugh out loud at my childhood memories!
Having a clean doorstep was a sign of diligence and righteousness within the community. It was a badge of virtue and ultimately considered a licence to judge others in some cases.
As a Christian I am so relieved that God looks on my heart to see the level of cleanliness in my life, no one else can see the ‘dirt’ on my step! Thankfully my wonderful, merciful Father in heaven does not judge me harshly. He does not compare me to others, He forgives me and helps me clean up my spiritual step by the wonderful power of the Holy Spirit.
The analogy is clear that by God’s wonderful grace I start each morning with a ‘clean step’: ‘Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.’ (Lamentations 3:22-23).
How blessed we are to have a Saviour who rescued us from our ‘dirty steps’ – our sins: ‘…he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit…’ (Titus 3:5 ESV).
I am so thankful for my Saviour and His intervention in my life. Thinking back, there is no way I could ever have competed with those matrons armed with scrubbing brushes and bleach!
Loving Father I am so thankful to you for your infinite mercy in helping me with my struggle against sin. Thank you for your love, mercy and forgiveness. Amen
Study by Irene Wilson
About the writer:
Irene Wilson is a Deaconess in the Watford congregation of Grace Communion International, and also serves on the Pastoral Council.
St. Peter’s Church
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