I used to think my friends Irene and Ken were a little too fanatical about keeping the deck of their sailboat clean. The gleaming white deck is part of the boat’s beauty as she sweeps through the water in full sail under a bright sun. You aren’t aboard her very long before you realize that keeping her that way takes constant attention.

When you fish for bass over the side of the boat in some quiet bay, Irene makes sure that you clean up the black, gooey dirt from the nightcrawlers right away. Or if you’ve been ashore and you come on board with muddy shoes, you scrub the muck off the deck before it gets tracked all over.

Just as Irene works at keeping the sailboat clean, we need to work continually at keeping our lives clean from sin. Paul prayed that the Thessalonian believers would be blameless and live in a way that pleases God (1 Th. 3:13; 4:1). He didn’t mean that believers should be perfect—we can’t be. But when we become aware that we have sinned, we must confess it, ask God’s forgiveness, and forsake it—even a little sin.

With God’s help, let’s “clean the deck.” Then we will be found blameless when Jesus comes.