Pine-Sol packs a punch. A wonderful, powerful, cut through lots of gra-doo, punch. So do SOS pads. These, Dawn dishwashing liquid and Clorox Wipes may be my favorite cleaners. When I use these products, you can SEE the cleaning progress you are making.

From Thanksgiving to Christmas, my husband cooks and smokes an inordinate amount of food items – everything from cheeses to varieties of fish, pork and fowl. My dogs, as well as the neighborhood canines, agree that this is the most wonderful time of year at our house.

To accommodate the massive amount of thawing, brining and cooking, we have commercial freezers, refrigerators, a 3-bin stainless steel sink and several smokers housed in our garage. These appliances get a workout during the months of November and December. As you can imagine, with the amount of food preparation, cooking, cooling, wrapping and delivering that happens, the amount of cleaning that must take place is also monumental.

Now that January is here, the intense, deep-dive cleaning takes place. This takes me back to Pine-Sol, SOS, Dawn and Clorox. With one swipe of the cleaning broom, the thin grease coating on the garage floor is dissolved. With one swoosh of the SOS pad, baked on fat, drippings and smoke is done away with on the sink, smoker grates and pans. The suds created by Dawn take care of the rest of the sticky grease residue. The Clorox wipes work their way down to the actual sink and freezer-turned-countertop surfaces. I LOVE being able to put in the work and see immediate results!

My husband was out on a grueling work day and when he came home, I wanted to surprise him with a cleaned garage. I put on some 80s rock-n-roll, rolled up my sleeves and went to work. As I said, I am fueled by the visual change that takes place during this cleaning. I did it all…every surface that the eye could see. If I say so myself, I did an outstanding job. And then I declared that “it was finished.”

A twinge hit me then. I had done all of the OUTSIDE surfaces! The insides of the freezers, refrigerators and smokers were still in desperate need of the same type of overhaul. Talk about a quick deflation! And then I was so convicted! How often do I focus on my outer appearance, never taking time to make sure that what is inside my home, my body, my mind and my spirit is just as tended to and cleaned?!

Have I let things into my home that would not please my Savior? Have I eaten and drank things that take away from my body’s best function? Have I allowed myself to be so occupied that I am running on fumes instead of good rest? Is my mind so cluttered with what others dictate and think that I am not concentrating on the life-giving tenets of Jesus, the One who truly matters? Is my spirit well watered from quality time at my Lord’s feet each day so that my focus stays on Him?

Ephesians chapter 4:20-32 gives us some spiritual SOS pads! This passage says that when we have internal buildup of the impurities that are not of Christ, we must put off those corrupt and deceitful desires. And when we do the work, we can SEE and FEEL the difference, so that we are fueled to keep it going! This cleansing uncovers anything that may be hiding the fruit of the Holy Spirit that lives inside of believers (Galatians 5:22-23)! Loosely translated, the Ephesians passage says that with a Godly swipe of His Pine-Sol, we are “made new in the attitude of our minds; we put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (v.24) We must scrape off falsehood and put on truth. We clean out anger so that we don’t give the devil a foothold. We scrub away dishonest gain and put on diligent work so that we can share with those in need. We scour away unwholesome talk and speak things that build up all who listen. We rinse away our selfish focus and bring to the forefront kindness, compassion and forgiveness, “just as in Christ, God forgave you.” (v.32)

When the insides are bright and clean, it radiates to the outside. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.” (Philippians 2:15) Let’s work to keep the insides clean so that our lights act like beacons, directing others to our source of Light!