One morning in high school, I was running late for school (surprise, surprise). I had a presentation later in the day, so I had to wear something halfway decent. I scrounged around for the burgundy button-down shirt I planned to wear – and found it languishing at the bottom of my ironing pile, looking as though it had been chewed by a cow.
After a quick glance through the window to check the weather, I grabbed a black cardigan to throw over the shirt after I had ironed it. Time was not on my side, so I took a short cut – one which I thought was brilliant at the time.
Knowing I was going to wear the cardigan on top of the shirt, I saved time by ironing only the parts of the shirt that would be visible after the cardigan was on.
Well, my plan would’ve been successful if the weather hadn’t changed on me.
The previously chilly morning morphed into a scorcher of an afternoon.
There I was, during the peak of my presentation in front of a classroom full of peers, sweltering in my black cardigan – and I couldn’t take it off! The entire back side of my shirt was an abomination of wrinkles.
That day, I learned my lesson the hard way.
But don’t we sometimes do the same thing with our sin?
We “iron” the parts of our lives that are visible to the public eye, so as to look presentable in front of a crowd — but all the while, the layer underneath remains untouched and embarrassingly wrinkled.
We portray a smooth front of patience to sideline observers, but hide wrinkles of bitterness and unforgiveness at the back.
We display the soft fabric of kindness to the public eye, yet conceal jealousy and stains of anger under our bulky jackets of pride.
We all know this isn’t how it’s supposed to work. There are no shortcuts with sin. Either we iron the whole shirt, or we will get caught unprepared by a change in the weather, with far too many layers on and no option to take them off.
With the grace of God, He can help us to iron the whole shirt.
In fact, that’s precisely why Christ gave Himself up for His bride, the Church —
“… to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the Word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:26-27).
Only by His sacrifice for sins can we be made wrinkle-free for all eternity.
So let’s ask Go to help us … not for the sake of those who can see what we’re wearing, but for the glory of the One who sees all and knows all, cardigan or not.
by Kate Motaung, Heading Home
Photo credit: Sporkist, Flickr Creative CommonsLeave a Comment
Katie Shannon says
Oh yes. So easy to push the other parts away.
It is, isn’t it? May our God give us grace to allow Him to iron all sides of our lives …
Julie Sunne says
I love that we don’t have to (can’t) do the ironing ourselves. The Lord has already taken care of it. All we have to do is clothe ourselves in Him. Well said, Kate.
This is my favorite part, too! The recovering perfectionist / works oriented person in me wants to then try to “iron harder” when the point is that we can let go and let God. When we let Him in, He does the ironing for us. Loved this post! Thanks for sharing!
Amen. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Julie.
Such a timely reminder. I recently was asked by God to iron out some wrinkles of unforgiveness and bitterness. And by His grace, I have been working to do so.
Praise God. May He continue to sustain you and give you sufficient grace to press on toward the goal … Blessings to you.
great analogy….one I can surely relate to
I’m glad. Thanks for your comment.
Nasreen Fynewever says
Not for the sake of those that can see but for the one who can see it all.
Enjoyed your post and find our God able to handle our wrinkles but yes, able to iron in ways we can’t see or don’t take time for. Thanks for your ministry of words.
All glory to God. Thanks for the comment, friend.
Bronwyn Lea says
Love it, Kate! I had never seen the “wrinkle” part of the Ephesians verse so clearly. Thanks 🙂
Thanks, Bronwyn… and may He continue to use you and your words and stories to help others grow to see and love His Word more and more …
Can I just say WOW!!! God brought this to me today in a very unique way…and delivered the exact message I needed to hear!!! P T L !!!
Praise the Lord indeed. His ways are above our ways, and His timing always perfect. May the Lord bless you and keep you.
Crystal @ Serving Joyfully says
Great post! I’ve been ruminating a similar post actually. I used to have this Christian sticker that mimmicked a Mtn Dew label. Except it said “Who are YOU…when no one’s watching.” And that’s exactly what we do. We make ourselves presentable in certain times and situations, trying to hide the “unironed” parts…but we forget that the only one who matters is in the closet with us anyway…He sees it even if we try to hide it.
Thanks for sharing 🙂
Thanks for your feedback, Crystal. So helpful to remember that He is ‘in the closet with us anyway’ … may He strengthen each of us to live for His glory. Blessings to you.
Emily M says
I LOVED this!!!
Thanks, Emily. May the Lord continue to minister to you through the blessing of (in)Courage.
What an incredible image!! I love this!!!
And, I’ve totally been there, but replace under shirt wrinkles with a giant stain!!! 🙂
Blessings. Thanks for the inspiration.
Thanks for your feedback, Kaitlin. Praise God for His ability to wash all of our stains, and make us as white as snow in His sight.
had this sermon been preached in the Baptist church of my youth, the response to the call would have been “make it plain!” So well said, Kate. Amen!
Keep chasing Grace and Peace,
🙂 Thanks, Chelle! All of the best to you …
Convicting and challenging. This makes me want to spend some time with God talking about the secret places of my heart. Thank you, Kate!
Thank you for sharing this, Kim. May the Lord continue to use the ministry of words in each of our lives … Blessings to you.
Brilliant metaphor! Brought me right back to my HS days when a friend told me that she usually ironed only what would show. It honestly never had occurred to me. I also never adopted that practice. As genius as it may have sounded at the time, I know the Holy Spirit told me , “Folks who will hide something as small as a wrinkled shirt are likely to conceal more important things, too. Take the time to let your real self shine.”
What a blessing that you learned that lesson early! 🙂 May the Lord continue to use His Spirit to lead and guide you in paths of righteousness …
Thanks, Lis. And thank you for the comment! Enjoy the weekend!
Beth Williams says
Great post. I used to be like that person. Trying to hide the wrinkles of imperfection, & sin in my life. Feeling like I didn’t live up to others expectations.
Now I quit trying & show the real me. I want God & others to help me with my life. want it to shine for His glory!
Amen, and praise be to God!