“The Dangers of Dirty Laundry!”
By Pastor Ron Buxton
I grew up in the 1980’s when almost all music reached the public by way of broadcast radio. Sadly, most younger readers might not have a clue of what I’m talking about. However, my thoughts in today’s article originate from one catchy song that had its debut in 1982. The singer/songwriter was Don Henley, and the song was entitled “Dirty Laundry”.
The gist of that song concerns humanity’s fascination with bad news—particularly scandalous reports—of other people. There’s just something about “looking down our noses” that makes us feel perversely better about ourselves. But, of course, that honestly reveals just how wicked our own hearts can be.
After returning home from many years on the mission field, I worked for about 8 years at the largest hospital in Maine as an environmental services supervisor. The analogy of dirty laundry is easy to understand, as the stains and filth of life can be easily seen, and publicly embarrassing. But even there, I tried to find some humor with an expression that I invented then. As I made my rounds, and noticed some soiled utility closets in serious need of cleaning, I would say over the hand-held radio: “Attention! ‘Code Brown’!….STAT. Soiled Utility Closet. Fifth Floor!” At least it added a little levity to a nasty job that somebody had to do.
You see, the problem with “dirty laundry” is that everybody has some. Nobody–with the exception of One Person—has ever lived on this planet free from it. And yet, how easy is it to get excited when we hear negative gossip about somebody else? Folks–that simply cannot be the case if you’re a true follower of Jesus Christ! When church goers enjoy “dirty laundry”—I seriously question their relationship with God. And there are several passages from the Bible to reinforce my conviction here.
I’ll take it a step further. The Prophet Isaiah talked about a “dirty laundry” issue that was nastier than anything found in any soiled utility closet ever. And his prophetic words were aimed squarely at the “church goers” of his day. To the people who looked down their noses at the unsaved pagans, Isaiah 64:6 declares– “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags”. Frankly, those last two words are literally a reference to the cloths that a woman would use during her monthly cycle! Nasty! And yet–that’s how we appear before a holy God–apart from the cleansing and redemptive work of Jesus Christ!
By God’s design, Christ’s redemptive message must be seen and heard by those who claim to be Christians. And if we’re too busy “looking down our noses”–the message gets ignored, or grotesquely distorted. This, tragically, leads to countless people never experiencing God’s plan to cleanse and redeem them! If you really know Christ—together, let’s clean some laundry! A celestial “laundromat” is awaiting for those wanting to get rid of their dirty laundry—forever!