No Need to Come Clean

Most of us get cleaned up for church on Sunday.

We shower. Put on deodorant. Pretty clothes and makeup. 

We want to look nice. Presentable. 

Which is good. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look our best when we enter our local sanctuaries.

But sometimes I wonder….

Does our Sunday finest mentality affect the way we approach God?

Sometimes, I fall into the trap of thinking that when it comes to Jesus, I have to come clean. As if getting rid of the sin will make me more worthy to stand in His presence.

Only that’s completely backwards.

We don’t have to get clean to go to God. We go to God to get clean. 

He washes away the dirt. He makes us new.

Not more self-control. Not a stronger will. Not a greater determination to “be good”.

Those aren’t the things that make us worthy to stand in His presence.

The cross and the man who endured it is.

Let’s Talk: Do you ever feel like you have to make things right before you can approach God?

If you’d like to win a free copy of my debut novel, Wildflowers from Winter (released yesterday), click on over to these lovely blogs:

  • Jennifer Hale asks me about my favorite scene in Wildflowers and what skill/talent I wish I had.
  • Sherri Johnson asks me about my greatest fear and my most embarrassing moment.  
  • Megan DiMaria asks me what compliment from a reader has meant the most and why.

15 thoughts on “No Need to Come Clean

  1. “We don’t have to get clean to go to God. We go to God to get clean.

    He washes away the dirt. He makes us new.”

    Excellent point. So simple and yet so easy to forget. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. What a great point to share Katie. It is a pitfall we stumble into – not by accident – but by design. It is a wonderfully working tool of Satan.
    I recently finished the most incredible book I’ve ever read about just coming as you are. It is titled You Are Already Amazing by Holley Gerth. Check it out if you struggle with this concept. It will change your thinking.
    Thanks Katie.
    Congrats on your book release.

  3. The father of the Prodigal Son didn’t yell “go take and bath and then we’ll talk”. It was open arms all the way home. That’s how God sees us.

  4. Wonderful words here today! If I felt like I had to have it all together before approaching God it just wouldn’t happen. I’m so very thankful he welcomes us – trash and sin trailing in yards at our feet – to make us new and clean. Whew!

  5. I’ve gone to God even when I felt downright loathsome. In fact, I’ve had a bad habit of going to God only when things get especially unbearable. Granted, He’s always helped me, but I feel like I need to go to Him for more than just when I’m at my wit’s end, whether it’s just to pray or say thank you or write. Since I was 17, I’ve been trying to put Him in the front of my mind, as though He’s standing before me as I face everything throughout my day, but it’s a touch perspective to keep hold of, especially when you want to just feel like you have control over everything.

  6. Thought-provoking post. While I know I can’t clean myself up before I come into God’s presence, once I’m in His presence, I always ask Him to reveal any unconfessed sins. I want to be sure anything I need to repent of is out of the way so that I might enjoy unhindered fellowship with Him. I love how you said it: We don’t have to get clean to go to God. We go to God to get clean. He washes away the dirt. He makes us new.

  7. Patti Mallett

    I will have to say that “getting fixed up” for worship has, for me, frequently gotten in the way of true communion. We are humans who care how we stack up, like it or not. And I doubt God is paying attention to anything but our hearts.

    When I count the times I’ve felt closest to God, deepest into communion and worship, it is me on my knees, disheveled and tear-stained.

  8. Sometimes I feel like I need to clean my slate before I can come into fellowship with the Lord – which isn’t completely wrong. I believe we need to enter into worship and prayer with an attitude of humility, knowing we’re sinners saved by Grace and ask Christ to wash us clean from the junk we’ve let enter into our hearts so that we can be free to worship Him. The problem comes when I forget that only He can do the cleansing and I can’t on my own. Salvation is instantaneous, but refining the crud out of our lives is a lifelong process that daily needs to be worked on.

  9. M J Smith

    Although I know better, I am sure I do that too. If nothing else, I end up praying “properly,” even carefully choosing words I use to confess sins.

    I read this, this morning, not long before seeing your question on your blog. How fitting:
    For your name’s sake, O LORD, pardon my guilt, for it is great (Ps 25:11)

  10. Oh, yeah. It is part and parcel of me doing (trying to do) things on my own strength. Must remember: All is Grace!

  11. I think I unconsciously think that…that I have to come clean, that is. I actually have times when I’m hesitant to pray because I know my attitude stunk all day…kind of the hunched over, puppy with a head between its legs feeling.

    But those are the days when I should be running to Christ, not slinking from him. Well, I should run to Him every day…but those are the times when His grace and unconditional love has a chance to shine.

  12. Great post Katie. I use to be someone who thought I had to clean up before I came to God. Now I know I will never be clean unless I go to God. He has the power shower 🙂

    BTW, I won copy of your book from your blog hop Friday. I am so excited. I can’t wait to get it and read it. Congratulations on the release!

  13. Beautiful thoughts here, Katie! I think we as Christians often apply this thought to nonbelievers as well. Like, we look at how someone else is blatantly sinning and think they really need to change. But they have no reason to change until they’ve met the one who will do the changing for them. Their most vital need is Jesus, and until they have Him, they are mostly blind to the rest…and when they get Him, their perspective changes.

  14. Very true. Amen.

  15. Yeah, I go through times like this. But mostly I come as I am. Same with church. Might not surprise you that I don’t always shower (I usually don’t) before church. Night showerer anyway.
    ~ Wendy


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