What is clean?

“What God has cleansed you must not call common.” Acts 10:15

Only God can declare a person clean.

No one can pronounce someone or something clean that God has called dirty.

When I arrived in the largest African city for the first time, I was taken to the mission guesthouse. The hostess invited me to eat with her and her husband in their home because there were no other guests.

While using their bathroom, I was shocked to find lengths of dental floss hanging from a clothesline.

In the kitchen, I was surprised she had washed every sandwich and quart-sized plastic bag, piece of aluminum foil, and plastic wrap, which she hung by clothespins from a line.

Then the water went off. The hostess put a sign in the bathroom that said, “Do not flush after use.” She filled the bathroom sink with water from a bucket and hung another sign. “After using the toilet, wash your hands in this water. Do not pull the plug after washing so others can use the same water to wash their hands.”

It was the most horrifying instruction of all. I couldn’t imagine how washing my hands in dirty water used by others made them clean, but the hostess said it was so. We can declare anything we want to be clean and right in our eyes.

But only God can pronounce someone truly clean after he repents, believes on Christ and asked His forgiveness.














About celestecharlene

I served as a medical missionary in West Africa for thirty years treating the sick and establishing health clinics in rural neglected areas.
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One Response to What is clean?

  1. Kathryn Page Camp says:

    Great point. I’m sympathetic to the missionary woman, though. If water was scarce, maybe she thought that washing hands in water someone else had used was better than not washing them at all. My father used to wash sandwich bags and aluminum foil, etc., although I don’t think he ever washed dental floss. My understanding is that it’s a reaction to having lived through the great depression, when people couldn’t afford new and the only option was to reuse what they had. That kind of thrift became a habit for many people.

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