>By Allen White
[Jesus] came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” John 13:6-8
To be clean, you have to acknowledge that you’re dirty. To receive forgiveness you must admit that you need forgiving. Peter wasn’t too good to have his feet washed. He just didn’t feel good enough to have Jesus wash his feet.
It’s not that Peter’s feet were clean. He had collected plenty of dust in his sandals along the way. It’s not that Peter had never had his feet washed. Foot-washing was as common then as a shoe shine was 50 years ago. Peter’s issue was not with the what. His issue was with the who.
Peter would have let a servant wash his feet. He would have been completely comfortable with someone of lower stature bending down to cleanse his tootsies. But, the Son of God? That made Peter uncomfortable. Jesus tipped social convention on its ear. The Greatest was doing the work of the least.
While most of us would do anything for anyone in need, sometimes it’s difficult to receive help. We would give the shirt off our back, but to take someone else’s shirt is another matter. It all comes down to pride.
The self-righteous, like the older brother in the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32), think that they don’t need Christ’s sacrifice. They don’t appreciate God’s grace. They might even take it for granted, because the dark side never seemed that dark. If we can live our lives well on our own, then why do we need Jesus?
The reality is that none of us can live our lives well enough. All of us have fallen short (Romans 3:23), probably more than we care to admit. If we feel self-righteous and better than other believers, then we’ve overly focused on avoiding obvious sin and carefully ignored hidden sin. Whether you’re dirty on the outside or dirty on the inside, you need to be cleansed.
I see this with men addicted to pornography. It’s addictive like a spiritual crack cocaine. It’s deceiving. “I can quit any time. This doesn’t control me.” Here’s the reality: if you could quit on your own, you would have. You’re not going to break this one on your own and just confessing to God won’t break it either. You’ve already done that and look where you are.
To break an addiction to anything: porn, food, internet, alcohol, drugs, work or whatever else, you have to humble yourself and confess to another person. James 5:16 says,
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”
If you want to be healed, you must confess to another believer. After all, we are only as sick as our secrets. Wouldn’t it be great to be free?
Where do you need to be cleansed today? What do you need to confess? Who feels like a safe person to confess to? Don’t keep yourself in bondage for another day.
Once you’ve confessed, here are a couple of resources that can help you:
Celebrate Recovery: brookwoodchurch.org/celebraterecovery or celebraterecovery.com
Faithful Eyes: faithfuleyes.org
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