Unhelpful Helpfulness


Written by Tabi

We washed the car today, Lydia and I.  It looks . . . pretty nice, actually.  We used old rags and water, and wiped away all the dirt and grime.  Lydia took the bottom and I took the top.  After a while, she dragged a step stool over and started cleaning higher up.  Here’s the thing, though.  After a while, the water got grimy, and even though we changed it out, she doesn’t quite have the patience or ability to clean the rags out thoroughly.  The water just wasn’t as clean, so the car wasn’t as clean.  After we scrubbed it down, I washed the windows.  I used special cleaner.  I used a special cloth.  You could see through them and they sparkled.  And then along came Lydia, to help me.  She took her grimy rag and rubbed it over every window.  Where once it had sparkled, now there was dirty water that, when they dried, left dirt on the window.  *sigh*  I’ll wash them again later.

She actually does this a lot.  She’s at an age where she wants to help, and don’t get me wrong!  I love it.  It’s super sweet.  What it isn’t . . . is helpful.  She’s not quite at the age where she can follow all of my instructions, and even when she can, she has a hard time really paying attention to what I say.

But then I realized.  Isn’t that just like us?

I mean, here’s God, cleaning us up spic-and-span, and making saints of us.  Then along we come with our own ideas about morality, saying, “Hey God!  I’m gonna help you clean this up.  I’ll make it better.”  Except we don’t.  Because our righteousness is dirty rags, and God’s righteousness is perfect.

I’m reminded of the promise God made Abraham.  That he would have too many descendants to count.  And after a while, Abraham and Sarah decided to help God out.  Things got a little messy.

So here’s my take-away.  Let’s stop telling God that we know better than He does.  Do what He told you to do, the way He told you to do it.  Let His Spirit do a good work in you, and continue the sanctification that began on the day you were baptized.

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