Devotional Readings

Filthy Rags

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags. Isaiah 64:6, NIV.

My daughter had just given me a new, dressy, sweater blouse, and it was so pretty–white, with various shades of green and navy blue. Since my only navy pants were rather faded, I bought a new pair that I was sure would look nice with the sweater.

Then the day came when I was invited to a women’s luncheon–just the occasion to wear my new outfit. I felt so good as I attended the luncheon with many other women, all wearing attractive clothes. I decided to make a day of it and did some errands while I was in town. No one complimented me on how I looked, but I didn’t think much of it. I didn’t really need any compliments since I already knew I looked good.

Then I got home and went to change into other clothes so I could keep my new clothes nice. How horrified I was when I took off the navy pants and found that the back was covered with lint, fuzz from my seat covers, and cat hair from pets who like to sleep in my car when the windows are down! No wonder no one had complimented me on my pretty clothes! It would have been so nice if someone had said, “Excuse me; you have lint on the back of your pants.” But no one mentioned that I needed to brush off the back of my pants, which would have been embarrassing but helpful.

There are times in my every day life when I may think I look good because of what I do. I attend church regularly, help out with community service activities, share with neighbors and friends who have less than I do, and go on mission trips. These are all important, but in spite of the fact that they are “good” activities, according to Isaiah I can’t depend on them as they are like filthy rags. The only thing that will save me is the white robe of Christ’s righteousness.

Dear heavenly Father, please help me today and every day to accept and depend on Christ’s robe of righteousness instead of my own “filthy rags.”

–Betty J. Adams


from A Word from Home
Ardis Stenbakken (editor) | Review & Herald (2005)
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