(Tuesday, January 14, 2014)  When one grows up in America and then visits India there are many aspects of life that, while making perfect sense to the Indian people, come across as really strange to us.  One of these is the cleanliness/dirty quandary in India.  The majority of the people keep themselves and their property meticulously clean.  Some wash several times a day, and they are forever sweeping their homes and the area in front.  But where do they put the dirt?  They sweep it into the street, where wind and feet carry it right back to their homes.  Their trash and garbage pile up just outside their properties. 

            Don’t they realize that more is required than just cleaning up their own person and space?  When will they realize that cleanliness as a nation requires more than that?  How can they see so clearly the filth in their own space yet block out so much of it all around them?  (Have you figured out yet where I’m going with this?)

            While we as Americans look down on the India people for the way they handle the physical filth in their nation, don’t we as Christians do the same concerning the moral filth in our country?   We make sure our lives and personal space stay clean from it, but we can somehow overlook it as it piles up all around us: immorality, materialism, greed, addictions, abuse, profanity, etc., etc., etc. 

            How can Indians overlook the filth everywhere else in their nation?  The same way we do.  What would happen if all those who want personal cleanliness would work together to get rid of the filth piling up around them?  The same thing as would happen if Christians in this country worked together to clean up the filth piling up around us.  We can exert tremendous influence as we vote for those who share our values, boycott that which is ungodly and support that which is wholesome.  We can talk to neighbors, write letters to manufacturers, turn off offensive programs and make a larger impact on our local neighborhoods.

            It would certainly improve India as a nation if they would be interested in cleaning up national filth and not just personal dirt, and the same would be true here if we as Christians did the same.

Matthew 5:13-16  “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.  “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Luke 14:34-35  “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?  It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

You can’t clean up the world, but you can impact your part of it.  Make sure your life and personal space is clean of sin.  But don’t stop there.  Make a list of things you can do (or stop doing) today to impact others for godliness.  Who can you talk to, write, pray for?  What entertainment or shopping habits should change?  Who do you know who is struggling with filth in their life?  What can you do to help them clean up?

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