“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.” Matthew 23:25-26
I am a person who likes to have her house clean. In fact, I can kind of get a little obsessed about cleaning it. Every month I deep clean the dishwasher. I scrub everything I can scrub and send it through a cycle with 2 cups of vinegar and then scrub it out again. I thought I was keeping it squeaky clean but it was only an illusion.
Last week while I was cleaning it I noticed that there was some gunk underneath the silverware holder and under the plastic grate at the bottom of the dishwasher. I try hard to scrub those things with a brush but for the past few months they weren’t getting really clean. And the dishes weren’t getting as clean either. Of course, my clean freak senses kick in and I start pulling things out for further inspection. I even got my husband involved which meant that the whole dishwasher got pulled apart.
Under the grate was gooey slime. In fact, this gooey slime was clogged in the drain which was backed up by a few toothpicks and a bit of napkin or paper towel. This goo was behind everything and in every nook and cranny of the sprayers. To say I gagging is an understatement. I was grossed out that I couldn’t even make dinner and forced my family to have leftovers.
I soaked EVERYTHING in vinegar and then I scrubbed EVERYTHING with a brush. I used Q-tips to dig into places I couldn’t get. We even ran it through another cycle without the sprayers before deep cleaning it one last time. It. Was. Disgusting!!!!!!!!!!
I was so mortified that my dishwasher was this dirty and gross. Here I was thinking I was keeping my it clean when in fact, it was beyond dirty on the inside. It reminded me of these verses in Matthew. The Pharisees were very careful to make sure they looked good on the outside by showing how religious and moral they were. When in fact, their hearts were full of extortion and self-indulgence. God wanted them to make sure their hearts were clean through repentance and faith which would make their outward behavior and appearance acceptable.
We need to be careful about how we take care of our hearts. I know it is hard not to put more emphasis on outward appearances/personality so others accept us. God is more interested in who we are on the inside. This morning let us start to be more concerned with maintaining our hearts than keeping up appearances to be acceptable to those around us. Psalm 51:10 says, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” I pray that this will be your prayer this morning.
My dishwasher is now squeaky clean like in the first picture. Trust me when I say my poor husband may be required to take it apart once again so I can make sure it also stays squeaky clean on the inside.