You’re probably reading this simply wondering how could anyone in their right mind make an analogy using a toilet??! Well, if we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you (2 Corinthians 5:13) – so, here it goes.
Through my professional experience (read backstory found at the end), I’ve learned that there’s a special technique used when cleaning toilets.
You start from the top (the handle, the tank, etc.) and work your way down on the outside (the sides, the bowl, etc.) – see the diagram of a toilet at the bottom.
However, you don’t just stop there.
You see, you could clean the outside and it’ll look all nice and pretty – shiny and clean, but on the inside, it could, quite literally, be full of crap.
People are similar. We have been programmed to put on a mask of I’m good in order to manage in our day-to-day lives. Ultimately though, no matter how hard we try to look good and be clean and show others that we have it all together on the outside, on the inside we are usually just full of crap.
God bless our digestive systems that allow this to be literal; but spiritually, we are filled with sin. Christians especially sometimes strive to live a life that looks insta-perfect on the outside, but behind the screen are hearts that are hurting, souls that are thirsty for living water, and we are broken, dirty, in need of a good internal cleaning.
#1 – God doesn’t want us just look clean and all fly on the outside, but HE WANTS TO CLEANSE OUR SOULS. From the inside out, He wants our hearts to be made new. Our sin to be washed away by the blood of Jesus, leaving us as pure and new and white as freshly fallen snow (Isaiah 1:16-18).
Stick with me here – if our life is like a toilet, we need to acknowledge first that we are full of crap, we may even want to flush out our sin. As humans, we often think we can do it alone – a simple flick of the wrist, a quick swish, and we’re good! Right?
#2 – WE CANNOT DO IT ALONE. We cannot clean ourselves from our sin. Just like if the flush handle becomes detached on the inside, the toilet won’t flush. No matter how hard we try, on our own, we cannot clean ourselves.
We have to be connected to the One who wants to, the only one that can, God – who longs to cleanse us from our sin in order to bring us closer to Him – from the inside out.
B A C K S T O R Y :
It began two summers ago (2015) when I worked for Spring Hill Camps – a place that combines faith and fun combined. After each activity, the counselors debrief with their group about how they saw God, or how they could relate that activity back to their relationship with Him. I figured, why stop there? I began asking myself that in the years following.
Jump to the following summer (2016) and God had me in Alaska – that’s where toilets get brought in. I was working at a resort on the Kenai Peninsula, and part of my job as a housekeeper was to clean the bathrooms of the cabins (sometimes taking 30 seconds of bravery). What I focused on most during that therapeutic, solo time of cleaning was spending it conversation with God and most of the time, in deep thought. Asking myself what I learned through asking the campers at Spring Hill, I asked myself the question that sparked this piece: how are toilets like our relationship with God?