Beyond Spring Cleaning
by Brandy Webb
It is that time of the year again where we have cleaned our houses and de-leavened them, and now spend seven days eating unleavened bread. I remember when I was a child my mom pointing out that it was nice to have Unleavened Bread at the beginning of Spring because it came right on time for spring cleaning. However, the Feast of Unleavened Bread is much more than just cleaning our houses and vehicles. Yes, it is nice when I open the fridge and it is clean, looking like it is new again, and I do enjoy driving in a clean car. Yet, the physical de-leavening is to encourage us to de-leaven spiritually.
This spring feast should remind us that we are new and unleavened in Christ. Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection gives “us a new birth into a living hope” of “an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade” (1 Pet 1:3-4). Therefore, we should be living lives full of joy, hope, rejoicing, sincerity, and truth because we know that the suffering we go through now is refining and proving the “genuineness of [our] faith” (1 Pet 1:7). Plus, this suffering is only temporary, and it will never compare to the joy we will have in God’s Kingdom. However, it doesn’t mean it is easy to do, especially if we are holding onto some spiritual leavening.
We are to celebrate this feast “not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Cor 5:8). I know that Paul is talking to the Corinthian church and the problem of sexual immorality that they were not doing anything about. However, I do believe this scripture applies to us also, and it is referring to anything that is not Christ-like behavior. If we are doing something that we know we would not do if Christ were literally standing right next to us, then we probably shouldn’t be doing it.
I don’t want to go through a listing of sins because I know we should all know what is wrong and right, but I do want to share some thoughts. When I was reading these scriptures, the first thought that came to my head is how we conduct ourselves with others and on social media. Maybe it is because it is an election year, but I have really seen some pretty malicious things out there on the internet. Are we watching what we like, share, and say on social media sites? Are we acting differently than the masses or do we get involved in all the debates and discussions? I know we all fall short of being Christ-like, but we can keep walking towards that goal by not participating in things that we know don’t bring glory to God. Maybe we should de-leaven our “timelines” on social sites.
We are to put away “all wickedness, all deceit, hypocrisies, envies and all evil speaking” (1 Pet 2:1). The words that come out of our mouth or onto the internet can defile us if they aren’t words that bring glorification of God or edification of others. You know the old saying, “If you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all”? Well, I am realizing how wise that statement truly is, and maybe that is why Proverbs mentions a lot how a wise person is a person of few words. Don’t worry, this is something I need to learn myself. I need to de-leaven my mouth.
The truth is I am realizing how much this feast reminds me to reflect on how to spiritually de-leaven. I don’t beat myself up, but I self-examine in a healthy way. It also reminds me how blessed I am that my Father is so patient and my Savior is so sacrificing. We live in Satan’s world; therefore, sin, lawlessness, wickedness, bad-mouthing politicians, etc., is going to flourish, but we don’t have to act like the world. We can be different, a set-apart people, a remnant, a light in darkness. So, this Unleavened Bread let us remove the leavening of wickedness and malice from our lives and fill it with things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy (Phil 4:8).