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Laundry and other Holy Matters

It’s laundry day. Being part of a family of six sure does load up the work for that particular task. I’m always amazed at what I discover each time I achieve those 15 minutes of all the laundry in the house being finished. Things like: that child only changed underwear once last week, or we managed to use every one of our dish towels. Laundry is not a project I enjoy. That probably stems most from the fact that it is only accomplished for a short period of time (if at all) before the cycle of responsibility starts again.

Dividing it up

Do you consider laundry among one of the spiritual things that you do in a day? I would guess that you don’t. Most of us like to divide our lives into categories. Ones like “Things I do for God” vs “Things I do for other reasons”. Or “Spiritual” and “Mundane”. In the first category I might put things like reading my Bible, praying, encouraging a friend, writing. All very spiritual things. But activities like laundry or grocery shopping probably wouldn’t immediately grace that list. They would go over in the “Mundane” column along with making food, cleaning the kitchen, going to work, and other such things.

One of the great lies that Satan tells is there is a great divide between the physical and the spiritual. A line that keeps physical things from crossing to your soul.

Dividing ourselves this way is kinda like how kids divide up the back seat in the car. This imaginary line that siblings are NOT allowed to cross. This is MY side; that is HER side. And she had better not touch my side! She can’t even BREATHE the air on my side! We are expecting that things we consider physical stay separate from the things we consider spiritual. That keeps it so the things we do that are mundane have no eternal consequence.

This can be especially discouraging because there are so many things that we have to do in order to function in the physical world. Many tasks like laundry or meal prep that we spend so much time on and get no glory from. I don’t know about you, but I rarely get praise for setting a healthy meal in front of my kids. Actually, the sounds out of their mouths tend to sound more like complaining than glorification! It’s hard to be motivated to do things that have no glory in them!

For the glory of God

Until I remember that I have stopped elevating my personal glory and seek to bring God glory. The bride is for the bridegroom. That it is my purpose in life to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

If I separate my activities into “Spiritual” and “Mundane”, I might still feel purposelessness in spending time with the laundry. That it is taking me away from what I really should be doing (glorifying God).

And yet we absolutely have Scripture that tells us there is no separation from our physical work and our spiritual work. Like Colossians 3:17, “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Or just a little further in 3:23 & 24, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, because you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as your reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Or even in the parable of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25:40, “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

Why the divide?

So there is evidence to back up the fact that Christ doesn’t mark some things off in the spiritual column and some in the non-spiritual column. Why do we?

It is safer to compartmentalize ourselves. We have our physical self and our spiritual self. And we like to believe that the two don’t mingle. Kinda like when people say, “it’s not personal; it’s just business.” I want them to be compartmentalized. Because here’s the real kicker- I don’t want my physical stuff to really have spiritual impact. But they do. Our spiritual choices impact our physical bodies, and our physical choices impact our spirit. Because there is no line of separation. It’s just us. We try to make them separate because we want to protect ourselves from our choices. But we can’t.

And when we are making those separations, we are limiting ourselves. We might feel cozier in our partitioned life, but we are neglecting all that we have access to! If we really understood the fact that we just aren’t compartmentalized like that, we would tap into the spiritual for all of our mundane acts. We would be glorifying God at every moment of our day, not just the times of the week we partition off for spiritual stuff. We would see Him in our daily life and chores so much more. And we would know the value that we have at all moments.

Even our laundry.

Copyright 2018 Jo Leggett

Jo Leggett

Jo Leggett works in women’s ministry by leading Bible Studies, speaking at conferences, mentoring, and speaking Christ into women’s lives. She has a firm grasp on her own brokenness and that of the world, stirring compassion for those hurting. Her deep walk with the Lord has provided her life experience to recognize God’s enduring goodness despite the circumstances. She lives with her husband and four kids on the Navajo reservation.

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