Once upon a time I thought that when my kids were older and not drooling on everything or spewing juice from their cups or leaving a trail of cheerios in their wake I would be able to get pretty, light-colored furniture and keep my car tidy. Little did I know that teenagers are harder on furniture and messier than toddlers.
My boys will sometimes borrow my car, and return it with pop cans and other junk spread all over the floors. Normally that is not a problem because I just send them out with a trash bag, a vacuum cleaner, some Windex, and end up with a spick and span car.
One day, however, I decided to clean it myself. My son had taken my car to school and my husband had dropped me off there to watch his football game. As I was waiting for him after the game, I noticed how messy the car was; so I spent my time cleaning. I found a plastic bag and started stuffing the fast food wrappers in it, but then I noticed other strange things. Like lipstick. I didn’t even know he had a girlfriend. And then I noticed a receipt and discovered some strange purchases he had made—and expensive ones—and I wondered where he got all that money. It was really quite enlightening going through all this trash. That boy had a lot of explaining to do.
So when he came around the corner and said, “Mom, what are you doing?” I just nodded knowingly and waited for him to get in the car. I could see he was nervous.
Until he walked past me and opened the door of our own car a few parking spots over. (Apparently we’re not the only ones who leave our doors unlocked.)
I wonder what people would discover about me if they looked through my trash. I suppose I mean that literally, but also figuratively. If people could snoop around in my life, would they find out things about me that would surprise them, disappoint them, inspire them? If we have dark secrets, we can, of course, burn incriminating evidence or delete files and destroy receipts, but the vestiges of those choices will linger anyway—in ways that cannot be hidden from view. In the same way, if we are serving the Lord privately, our righteousness will show through.
I’ve experienced the pain of keeping secrets, and I know without a doubt that walking in the light is happier, easier, and better. I’m so glad that God invites us to walk in the light, with him. Let’s be women of integrity! Let’s live honorably, and confess when we’ve failed. Then we won’t care who cleans our car.
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“Whoever walks in integrity walks securely,
but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.”