We have a slight mold problem in our front bathroom. Well, it started out as a slight problem and slowly became a slightly bigger problem. I tried all the natural remedies I knew, baking soda, vinegar, lemons, borax, nothing worked, so finally I agreed to let my husband go get a "real" cleaner (the no-so-natural and sorta deadly kind) and have a go at it.
And clean he did! He scrubbed the tile right off the wall. Apparently the wall behind the tile is completely rotted away. He thinks it's been this way since before we moved in. It appears that someone in the past just put layers of white caulking over the edges of the tub it to make it look clean rather than dealing with the very obvious rotting problem.
We might have noticed before now that there was a deeper problem, but I kinda think we were in denial. We were just so excited about having a real shower (our last house just had a tub, no shower) that we didn't mind that it was in less than pristine condition.
I recommended that we just superglue the tiles back up on the wall and go on about our business. I mean as long as it looks cleaner who cares what's going on behind those tiles! However, my husband has decided it would be best to actually repair the wall first. Go figure!
This afternoon as I was sitting and contemplating how we were going to function for the next week or so without any sort of shower or bathtub, I was reminded of the passage in Matthew when Jesus tells the scribes and Pharisees they are like whited sepulchers "which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones" (Matthew 23:27). The religious leaders were hypocrites who maintained an outward appearance of obedience to the law, while managing to avoid what Jesus calls the "weighter matters" of judgment, mercy, and faith. They maintained an outward appearance of cleanliness, but inside they were rotting away.
(Of course, my bathroom doesn't really maintain an outward appearance of cleanliness, but you get the idea)
Now, I hate to admit this, but sometimes I find myself on the Pharisiacal side of the fence. It's easy for me to see a spiritual problem in my life (sin, worry, lack of compassion, love of money), and instead of dealing with the problem, I just glue a superficial excuse over it and go on about my business.
I would be more generous if I had more money. I wouldn't worry so much if I didn't have so much going on right now.
I would have more compassion if people in Wal-Mart weren't so annoying.
The problem with this is pretty obvious. When you make excuses for sin, you eventually end up with a big rotten mess that takes a lot of time and effort to clean-up. This is probably why Paul warns us in Colossians 3 to put to death the things of the flesh "fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry" and to put off "anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, and filthy communication" (vs. 5, 8). We have to root those things out so we can replace them with the good, sturdy foundation of love, mercy, and faithfulness that God has chosen for his beloved children.
So while my husband will be spending the next few days clearing our bathroom of mold and rottenness, I think I'll stick to rooting out sin and selfish excuses.
It will do me good. Plus, I'm not that great at home improvement projects anyway.