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Spiritual Sweat

If I asked you why you sweat, you’d likely answer, “To cool my body when I’m overheated,” and you’d be correct. However, there are many other reasons why we sweat.

Benefits of Sweat

Beyond cooling, our sweat detoxes our bodies of heavy metals, such as mercury found in all seafood. Our sweat also helps eliminate dangerous chemicals, such as the traces of cyanide found in spinach. And our sweat helps to cleanse us of harmful bacteria.

As we see, our sweat not only works to keep our bodies from overheating, it also pushes harmful things out of our bodies. Sweat is pretty impressive, and it can serve as a metaphor to help us understand how we become more Christ-like.

Spiritual Sweat

We know that “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1). My metaphor is not intended to condemn but to teach.

“Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.”

2 Timothy 2:21

Finding the Dishonorable

We can’t clean it if we don’t know it’s there. So, how do we find the dishonorable things in our lives? We find them primarily through the blessings Jesus has given us: loving God and people, prayer, the Bible, worship, fellowship, helping others, sermons, our local congregation, and so forth.

All of these help us find any dishonorable things in our lives and learn how to cleanse ourselves. But there’s more. As believers, we have the Holy Spirit alive in us, and He brings His fruit into our lives. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22–23)

Set Apart as Holy

As we walk in faith, the Holy Spirit causes His fruit to grow in us, and this expansion pushes out the spiritual toxins and chemicals and heavy metals that have been building up in us our whole lives. The Holy Spirit’s expanding fruit in us pushes the harmful stuff out, similar to our bodies’ sweat.

Just as sweat cleanses our bodies, the Holy Spirit gives us spiritual sweat so we will be a clean vessel, set apart as holy.

Image by janeb13 from Pixabay


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Nooks & Crannies

Wired the way I am, nooks and crannies drive me nuts. When I clean my car I want it clean but it has air vents, and seats that don’t come out, and a trunk release that was designed to also function as a small waste basket. The way my shower is made, it is impossible to get under the corners to clean them. When I install software upgrades on my computer I know those leave behind bits and pieces of the old version, and it is tedious to comb through system folders to remove those nits and nats. And, I have nooks and crannies within me. Those are the worst.

How do I know what I don’t know? Do I completely believe what I claim to believe? Forgiveness is riddled with crevasses that leave me wondering what needs to go and what is supposed to stay. Yes, I am surrounded on every side by nooks and crannies that need cleaned or filled or just left alone.  

Jesus doesn’t leave nooks and crannies undone. That is a comfort to me. John 8:36 (NIV) says, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” No nooks, crannies, nits or nats. In 1 John 1:9 (NIV), “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Again, we’re not only forgiven, but we are purified. No unclean crevasses.

Wrapping this up, take a quick look this very familiar verse in Romans 8:27-28 (NIV), “And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.

God works “all things together for the good of those who love Him…” All things, no nooks, crannies, nits or nats. This doesn’t mean you don’t have to go to battle with your car’s air vent, but it does mean that in all things you can have peace for Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27 NIV)

Photo by Evelyn Fjord on Unsplash

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