The Tilex Approach to Growing as a Christian

I have two huge clear glass shower doors in my bathroom. And I mean huge. The ominous expanse of these two doors is enough to give any self-respecting cleaning lady nightmares. The problem with clear glass shower doors is that they are supposed to be clear. Yet everything in nature fights against a glass shower door staying clear. Soap scum. Water drops. Daily use by several family members. In fact, the term “clear glass shower door” really ought to be classified as an oxymoron—you know, like “jumbo shrimp.”

And so I do battle with nature. First of all, I wipe down the outside of the doors with Windex once a week. Unfortunately, this is not enough. Why? Because you know as well as I do that the real problem is not the outside of the doors. The real problem is the inside. The inside is where the soap scum and water stains build up. And then the gunk inside shows right through. So I use Tilex Daily Shower Cleaner on the inside of the doors faithfully every day. I spray it on and leave it there while I go on with the rest of my life. No scrubbing or heavy labor. Amazingly, the Tilex does the work and the glass stays clean and clear–just so long as I spritz the doors every day.

Now, minimal as it is, I don’t really like doing this chore every day. First, I don’t like the smell of the spray. Second, when you think about it, there is really no good time to spray a shower stall. After a morning shower I am in a rush to get the kids to school, pack lunches, drag the trash cans to the street or get to work. After a relaxing evening shower, there is no way I want to stand freezing in the shower stall spraying the doors. I have way more appealing things to do then. And of course, last but not least, I am lazy. I rebel against forcing myself to do anything, even something easy and demonstrably effective, daily.

But I do it. I do it because the consequence of not doing it is an hour-long scrub-a-thon after several weeks of guilt and the fear that my mother-in-law or a babysitter will stray into my bathroom and think that a bunch of pigs live in the house. And you know what? Now that it’s a habit, it really isn’t so hard. I don’t notice the smell and the extra 30 seconds don’t really devastate my hectic morning schedule or my evening activities the way I thought they would.

My Tilex approach to clean shower doors is a lot like growing as a Christian. An outside swipe once a week just isn’t going to cut it. But a relatively simple daily spray of an effective cleaning agent on the inside will make all the difference.

A growing Christian’s Tilex is the Bible–simply reading a little bit each day. You don’t need to do anything laborious or elaborate. God’s Word will go to work on your insides while you then go on with your other daily duties and activities. It will transform you from the inside out, dissolving patterns of thinking that aren’t pleasing to God, sins you may not even be aware of yet and the less than desirable scum that builds up on us all as we live out our lives in a fallen world. The catch is just getting into the habit of reading each day.

Like Tilexing the shower, it’s not always easy to get into a habit of daily Bible reading. There are lots of other duties pressing for your time and lots of leisure activities that seem more appealing. But in the long run, just like with Tilex, your days will be easier and less stressful if you get into the habit of a few minutes of Bible application to your life each day. You’ll avoid many a major, painful clean-up session. You’ll feel less guilt. Less fear that someone will “find out” what you’re really like. And your life will begin to shine from the inside out pretty much all the time.

It took me years to develop a consistent Tilex habit. I’d start out strong for a couple days and then the bottle would sit neglected in the corner of the shower for weeks (or even months) while the soap scum built up. Same with Bible reading—lots of good intentions but little follow-through.

Fortunately, Tilex and the Bible both work well on neglected areas. If you begin to Tilex your shower faithfully each day, eventually months worth of soap scum will be eaten away. (Trust me, I know this from experience.) It doesn’t matter if you have stopped Tilexing a hundred times before. It still works this time around so long as you keep doing it. And if you begin to read your Bible everyday, you will see results, even if you’ve neglected reading it for years. The key is to just keep at it. Just a little bit. Every day. Try it and watch your life with Christ begin to sparkle.

– Catherine Reid