“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:22)
Prince Rooster and his hens enjoy taking dust baths. They find a dry, dusty spot and scratch out a little depression. They flatten themselves in the dirt, fluffing out their feathers and wriggling this way and that. They work their feet to throw the dust up over their backs. By all appearances, this feels very good to them; but not even Prince Rooster has found a way to look dignified while taking a dust bath. No matter how he does it, he is still wallowing in the dirt.
People do not wallow in the dirt. We greatly prefer to clean ourselves in warm, sudsy water. Yet on second thought, maybe we are not as clean as we imagine. Many people enjoy the muck and filth on the Internet, television, and in newspapers. Gossipers like nothing better than a good dust bath on the telephone. They fluff their self-righteous feathers and kick up the dust with their feet, which are “swift in running to mischief.”
But none of us would do that—of course not. We might occasionally share a concern that requires us to reveal some unsavory (or savory?) details, but we wouldn’t think of gossiping. Yet the image of Prince Rooster wriggling in the dust keeps coming to mind. As we ponder the matter, we should be aware of an important difference between the dust baths Prince Rooster takes and the ones people take: chickens probably find some benefit in kicking up dust, but our dirt baths always harm ourselves and usually injure others as well. Today’s theme verse provides warm sudsy water with which to cleanse ourselves daily.
Stay out of dust, avoid the dirt;
Don’t think or say the things that hurt.
From Paws on My Porch, by Gary Miller
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Used by permission