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Check the Tag

Following directions makes for cleaner laundry; will reading the “tag” God left make for a better life?

Check the Tag
  • Author: Angie Bentley
  • Credits: Illustration by Peter Grundy
  • Published: September 8, 2010

Towels were always crispy in my house growing up. In a spectrum of faded colors, they were well-worn, well-loved and.... crunchy. I never thought anything about it. They performed adequately, whether after a shower or after a meal.

Recently, my husband, Scott, and I bought plush, new crimson towels. Red made me a bit nervous, so I searched for the tag to see how to wash them: “Wash like-colored items. Tumble dry low.” I followed the directions. Out of the dryer I pulled towels so soft I had to refrain from wiping the softness all over my face.

A few days later, Scott asked if the green towel I was using smelled sour, as his did. It did, but then, we do live in humid Florida. I remembered the red towels and decided to read the instructions on these towels, too. I threw them in the wash and then the dryer—on low tumble.

The dryer buzzed. They’d been transformed from the flat towels that have dwelled on our shelves into fluffy ones, worthy of a store-front display.

Towels aren’t supposed to be crunchy? Oh, my word. It was like the moment I first heard the truth about the Easter Bunny.

You see, I’d always dried my towels on hot heat. My whole life. I’d never read the tag. I just did laundry the way I’d been taught.

And it’s the way I would have told you—evangelistically and enthusiastically—to wash towels, had you asked.

Now, with this revelation, I suddenly wondered what other areas of my life I’ve been moving forward with a faulty understanding. After this “aha” moment about a mundane household task, what incorrect thinking do I have about bigger things in life?

How many things about God do I believe because that’s what I’ve always believed and never thought to question? A litmus test might be this: The last time I was asked about the character of God or why I believe what I believe, did my answer come from something a friend had told me, a sermon, a “Christian-growth” book, or from the Word of God?

For me, it’s time to “check the tag” spiritually, going to the Bible for the next answer to something I assume I know.

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