Dishwater Doctrine

I hate washing dishes (easily one of my most hated chores), but the repetitive, mindless action helps me think. So I thought I would share some stream of consciousness thoughts about theology.

I was washing a transparent glass bowl and saw some dirt and I swiped at it, but it was on the other side of the bowl. Into my mind popped Jesus words to the Pharisee’s about their obsession with outward appearance.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.Matt. 23:25-26  (see also Luke 11:39-40)

From there my mind moved back into the Old Testament. To Samuel’s jaunt to Jesse’s house to anoint the second king of Israel. When meeting Jesse’s three eldest sons who were apparently all tall, dark, and handsome, God tells Samuel they are not in the running.

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” — I Sam 16:7

God likes to remind us that there is a reality beyond the physical reality and that’s the spiritual reality. We cannot see inside our own bodies at our emotions, mind, and will. God can. God can see the spiritual reality that we cannot.

Light bulb moment.

(It’s amazing how many of these light bulb moments are really things I have been taught or read or even said, but in these moments they make sense.)

Faith is the key part of seeing the spiritual reality. Faith is living with the assurance that

  1. The spiritual kingdom/reality exists.
  2. God’s spiritual kingdom is more real than any temporal kingdom and not just a nebulous “sense.”
  3. God’s spiritual kingdom is more lasting than this current, temporal earth.
  4. God is doing things in the temporal world just as He is in charge of spiritual, and one day we will see that both kingdoms belong to and are under His authority.

Sometimes when we are faced with something on this earth that we can’t explain, we throw up our hands and say “we must take it on faith” (specifically scientific things). Some Christians seem to freeze up when it comes to the idea of studying science. Maybe they are afraid that science will point away from God.

Science cannot point away from God, and Christians should be involved in science and the other “ologies” that help explain the temporal world. This is why we observe, study, test. Yes, there will be some things on earth that we won’t/can’t understand and will have to take on faith. But faith is the key to living as spiritual beings, more than just physical ones.

Faith is the pair of eyes to see the spiritual life that we have.

Faith is seeing the inside of the bowl … even when it isn’t made of glass.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. — Heb 11:1


Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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