Clean Outside and In

"The righteous keep moving forward, and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger." Job 17:9 NLT

As a young boy, clean hands were important to me-a trait that has obviously been passed down to my grandson. As he attempts to master eating with a fork and spoon, his awkwardness often takes over, and he resorts to using his hands to retrieve what he can't stab or scoop. Inevitably, this leads to dirty hands. When he notices the food clinging to his small fingers, a frown creeps across his face, followed by an extended hand and a cry for help. Either my wife or I quickly come to the rescue. Cleans hands are important to him.

Job knew a great deal about clean hands, but his fair-weather friends didn't. Job was the unfortunate recipient of Satan's assaults with God's permission. Instead of consoling him, his friends bombarded him with accusations. Evidently, he had sinned. His wife tired of the entire situation and encouraged him to curse God, die, and get it over with. Job, however, maintained his heart and hands were clean before God. He was not concealing sin or ignoring God.

Thoughts produce feelings, which in turn carry the power to evoke actions. Allowing God to control my heart (thoughts and feelings) is the only way to assure my actions reflect association with him. Simply cleaning up the outside won't change the inside. Jesus repeatedly warned the religious leaders about looking good on the outside only. A whitewashed tomb still contains deteriorated bones. If I only clean up the outside-turn over a new leaf, without letting God transform my inside, my hands will continue to get dirty again. Much better is letting God renovate the inside first. Then the outside will remain clean because the inside is. What's on your inside that needs cleaning up?

Prayer: Father, help our clean hands be a reflection of our clean hearts.

Martin Wiles
Hodges, South Carolina, USA

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