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  • Chris Crosby


The water leak was now gone, and the cleanup had begun as we recovered from a broken toilet tank. Fortunately, all the overflow that had flooded the floors in our home was clean water, but it still had done its damage and we needed to do the repairs. The water had been mopped up and the walls dried out, but now it was time to prep and paint baseboards and doors. To me the most labor-intensive part of the process was sanding.

Sanding is a very critical part of any painting or staining project and must be done well to get a good finish that lasts a long time. The hours of sanding baseboards on hard tile floors is

not a fun task, but realizing its importance, I set out to do it well. Then the doors had to be removed, sanded and repainted as well. While sanding, I had plenty of time to think since the process is not a quick one. I found my mind comparing this task to what happens in my spiritual life.

Just like the doors and baseboards in my home, my own life develops areas where warps and peeling paint demand attention. God’s Word is the perfect “sandpaper” that allows me to smooth out the warps and remove the peeling paint from my life, as II Timothy 3:16-17 states, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” That is what I long for – to be thoroughly equipped.

Just like sandpaper, reading the Word can be uncomfortable or even abrasive when dealing with areas that are out of line in our lives. Yet, the result of its application can produce a better result than leaving the area exposed and out of alignment. Proverbs 15:32 reminds of the importance of correcting those weaknesses, “Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.” That’s a strong statement. To leave areas that are weak and out of alignment with God means we are hurting ourselves. Yet, the direct application and correction of His Word brings intelligence and wisdom. Proverbs 21:1 affirms this, “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.”

We know that the application of the Word is vital to our growth, but it is not always pleasant, as Hebrews points out in 12:11, “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” That is a powerful promise. As we yield to the correction found in God’s Word and bring our lives back into alignment, the promise is a fruitful harvest of righteousness.

Take a few moments to reflect on your life. Are there areas that are warped or exposed? Are there weaknesses or sin that God has been prompting you to address? If so, dig into the Word today. Allow the sandpaper of the Word to smooth out those areas and commit to obey the commands of God. The rewards will be well worth the momentary discomfort!

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