The instructions on the back of the shampoo bottle read: Wash, rinse and repeat. My first thought is what a great way to keep me buying the product! I should have bought more than one bottle. Reading the simple instructions made washing my hair seem like a never ending task. When do you stop repeating? The author of these instruction is a genius. At a minimum the product user will be encouraged to shampoo twice and that means more product used each day. That also means they will need more product soon.
Very often the pattern of our Christian walk mirrors the instructions on the shampoo bottle. We get into the filth of sin, we come back to God we wash, we rinse but then we repeat the actions that corrupt our hearts. Then it is back to God for our wash and rinse. Why is it so difficult to resist temptation? Can we live a life that is at least somewhat victorious?
Let’s get real honest for a moment. The first question to answer is do you really want to be free of the sin? Sin is pleasurable, enjoyable, even exciting. It has an appeal, a hook, a high that is difficult to ignore. The reason we repeat it is we found some satisfaction in it the last time we did it. We know the pleasure but at the same time if we are completely honest we know the pain as well. Sin’s pleasure is short lived. More often than not the pain and suffering that follows is swift and destructive and that is why we tend to run back to God for relief.
Do you want to be free? Only you can answer that. It is the defining moment, that moment change begins. Some people call this defining moment: reaching the bottom. I like to call it the “great awakening”!
We are dead in our sin, but the moment we repent and turn whole heartedly to God we come alive. We wake to a new reality.
“So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (II Cor. 5:16,17 NLT)
New life in Christ. The cycle of wash, rinse, repeat can end when we embrace “new life”. Jesus is not your mechanic. He is not here to patch up your radiator. He is here to change the way you live, the way you think, the way you love. If you are running in for a wash and rinse once a month you are missing the gospel intent! The old nature inside you cannot survive the encounter with the living God! When you surrender to Jesus you will find that the temptations of your old life lose their power over you. Yes, you will still be tempted. Yes, you will feel the urge to give in…but you will have the power to resist!