One of the things that I do every workday morning is I iron my dress shirt. I know that in this day of busy schedules that most people simply take their dress shirts to the dry cleaners to have them starched and pressed but there is something peaceful about ironing to me. I have done this almost every morning for the past twenty years and it is so natural to me that I can perform that task without much thought. That is, much thought on the shirt being ironed.
During this time I do go through much thought but rather than thinking about the creases and wrinkles, I tend to focus on thoughts about God. Many people take time to spend reflecting on God and I choose to do this while ironing my shirt in the mornings. Many times I will be struggling with thoughts about what I should write here or with problems that may be occurring in my life and all it takes is a little time with my iron. During the process the thoughts just seem to flow in my head and many mornings I can hardly wait to get to my phone or tablet to jot down notes and ideas that have come to me through this process.
One morning not too long ago, I was going through this process and the thought occurred to me that ironing away the wrinkles in my dress shirt was like the way that Jesus cleanses our life from sin.
Once a one hundred percent cotton dress shirt is removed from the laundry it looks as if it has been through an earthquake, tornado, and hurricane all at one time. The shirt is clean but it is full of wrinkles, each line and each crease making the shirt ugly and not fit to wear. Of course there are those today that aren’t bothered by the wrinkles and will proudly wear the shirt in public no matter how it looks. This is the same with our sins. Sin wrinkles our lives, causing them to be unsightly and there are those that don’t care and will proudly wear their sins as if they are badges of honor or old war wounds.
The one thing that I find most satisfying about ironing my dress shirts is the transformation that takes place when you take a wrinkled dress shirt and press it with a hot steam iron. Almost instantly the wrinkles start to disappear and the shirt changes right before your eyes from one that is sloppy to one that is sharply pressed and ready to be worn with pride. This same transformation takes place in our lives when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Jesus died on the cross to cleanse us of our sins. When He took his last breath and uttered the words “It is done,” the wrinkles of sin in our lives fell away, leaving behind a pure spotless life that is reflected in the ironed and pressed dress shirt.
Once I finish ironing in the morning, I immediately put on the wrinkle free material. Draping this crisp shirt over my shoulders, there is a sense of satisfaction that I feel from presenting myself in a spotless, crisp dress shirt. This shirt represents to me that while I may not be free of sin, my sins have been ironed away. The wrinkles are gone, the creases are no more, I have been forgiven. In the eyes of a loving God, I am as spotless and wrinkle free as the shirt on my back. The warm dress shirt, fresh off the ironing board is comforting. God’s forgiveness and love for me is comforting.
13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. Colossians 2:13-14 ESV
Who knew that ironing a dress shirt could be so enlightening?
Do you iron your own shirts, take them to the cleaners, or proudly wear your wrinkles?
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