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.
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.
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