If you’ve never hung clean laundry out to air dry in the sun, you’ve missed a unique satisfaction. As a kid, few things were as pleasant as the smell of clothing and sheets that had just come down from the line. Everything was crisp and obviously clean and fresh. I loved it.
With this in mind, I can’t currently think of anything less satisfying that air drying, or airing, dirty laundry. First, I’d never want the neighbors to see me doing anything so foolish. Second, WHY?! Pulling it off that line would give something far from the satisfaction I got from pulling clean laundry, and even as I took it down I would know my work had just doubled or worse: Dirty laundry that has been aired is even harder to get clean because all the dirt, soil, and stains are baked in.
The same holds true on social media. It seems to me that airing our dirty laundry has become the order of the day, and I find it appalling on many levels. It flat out makes the person doing the talking look foolish and wrong, especially if later on it turns out the facts weren’t quite as they thought. Even worse, though, it can completely destroy relationships that could have been saved if the parties had come together instead of one or both airing their problems in public. And for the Christian? Frankly, it’s dangerous.
God’s Word presents the concepts of love and forgiveness repeatedly, and love in particular is something I think we truly don’t understand. One line that took me years to comprehend is, “Love will cover a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)
The full verse is this: “And above all things, have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins.’”
Who is He talking to here?
What is He saying?
Our brothers and sisters in Christ WILL sin. They WILL do us wrong. They WILL make mistakes. They ARE NOT PERFECT no matter how much anyone thinks they should be. (The absurd belief that Christians should be perfect is fodder for another post!)
What else is He saying?
It is our responsibility to LOVE ANYWAY. It’s our responsibilty to cover their mistakes and, yes, even their sins, with love.
Example: When, as a young wife, I felt my husband had done me wrong, I did NOT go running to my mother to tell her all about it. I chose not to because I knew he loved me and I didn’t want to say something to her that would ruin his reputation where she was concerned. Instead, I took our issues to God and we dealt with things privately.
God IS love, and He expects us to work on becoming more like Him all the time. He doesn’t just ask us to love one another; He commands it. As Christians, when we’ve got a load of dirty laundry, we are responsible for making the right decision on how to handle it. Tossing it out to bake in the light of public opinion pretty much guarantees it will never be cleaned and the damage will become permanent. It is the exact opposite of what Scripture commands, and it makes us look bad as individuals and reflects poorly on the community we live in, the church.
Let’s trying cleaning it instead.