My least favorite household chore is “unballing” balled-up, dirty, stinky gym socks before throwing them into the washing machine. “Sock balls” come in several varieties:

  1. Simple sock ball – These ankle-height socks are sweaty and perhaps tinged with dirt or mud around the top. Unpleasant to unball, but no surprises on opening.
  2. Confetti sock ball – These athletic socks have been worn to mow the grass, play baseball, or perform some other similarly dirty chore or leisure activity. Unballing this variety of sock ball unleashes a dusting of grass, dirt, mulch, or pea gravel all over the laundry room floor.
  3. Tube sock ball – These can be either “simple” or “confetti.” What makes these unique is that the length of the sock requires you to stick your hand in to the elbow to turn them right-side-out. Most unpleasant.

Both my husband and our son have been guilty of this heinous crime. My dear husband has lovingly worked to stop this thoughtless habit. He is much better, but he does occasionally place a “sock ball” into the laundry basket.

I mentioned this distasteful chore this morning while teaching a Bible study class on Colossians chapters 3 and 4. The response from the other women in the class left no room for doubt. Women in general dislike this disgusting chore. It was a perfect time to apply the Scripture.


And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus. Col 3:17

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. Col 3:23

One day, a couple of years ago, when I was doing laundry and complaining to myself about balled-up socks, God reminded me of these very passages. Although unballing sock balls is a dirty, thankless chore, doing it is a way to love and serve my family. Doing it without complaining gives glory to God.

I must admit that I still don’t always face sock balls with a smile. But each time I’m tempted to run them through the washer and dryer just like they are, God gently reminds me that I’m really unballing socks for Him.

What chore or task do you dislike or consider drudgery? How can completing it “as working for the Lord” help our attitude and actions?

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