This morning I was cleaning my sink. For some crazy reason, I hadn't yet put my glasses on. I shouldn't do anything without my glasses, but I guess I thought I could see the sink well enough to clean it.
I cleaned half of it while brushing my teeth, then rinsed it so I could spit out my toothpaste. After I put the toothbrush away, I put my glasses on and turned around to finish cleaning the sink. With my glasses on, I could really see the sink. It was so far from clean! There was still soap scum that I couldn't see with my faulty vision.
As I went back to cleaning the sink, I couldn't help but think how much I'm like the dirty sink. All my efforts to do the right thing, and to be "good" ... fail. I may look at my life and myself and think I'm doing a good job, but in God's perfect sight, I'm covered with soap scum still.
Every now and then, he shows me a bit of what He sees. I can become self-righteous ... pleased with myself and my efforts. I can think I've got this parenting thing down, or this Christian-life thing down. And then my younger kids get in an all-out brawl, or my teens start flinging hateful insults at each other, or I trip over the laundry that I've been ignoring all day. I lose my patience and let everyone know exactly what I'm thinking at that moment ... at high volume. And I'm reminded that without God, I'm still a soap-scum-covered sink.
I'm so thankful that I do not have to earn His love, or earn my salvation, because there is no way I could do it. If I tried, it would be like me cleaning my sink without my glasses. My clean could never be clean enough, no matter how many "good" things I managed to do.
So as I rinsed out the freshly cleaned sink, I gave thanks for Christ's atonement and God's forgiveness. I need it, every single day.