I headed out for my usual early morning exercise–a brisk walk to the lake, around the neighborhood loop, and back again. As I passed by, a neighbor emerged from her garage. We waved to greet one another before she grabbed a large plastic container to haul to the end of her driveway.
Yikes, garbage day!
I made a mental note to put our garbage out as soon as I finished my walk. We sure didn’t need health hazards, clutter, and all things stinky hanging around for another week. How good it always felt to get rid of garbage.
Rid of … hmm. Didn’t God’s Word have a lot to say about “getting rid of”? When I returned, I’d check that out, too.
Ah, hah! Just as I thought. The Bible listed all sorts of garbage that Peter and Paul urged Christian to “get rid of.” I studied those lists for any garbage I needed to get rid of.
Curious? Would you like to know what I found on those lists? Here are just a few items I considered, in case I was carrying them around:
- “Get rid of all malicious behavior and deceit. Don’t just pretend to be good. Be done with hypocrisy and jealousy and backstabbing” (1 Peter 2:1, New Living Translation).
- “Get rid of … slander and dirty language” (Colossians 3:8, New Living Translation).
- “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words … be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another” (Ephesians 4:31, New Living Translation).
- “Get rid of all filth and evil in your lives … humbly accept the message God has planted in your hearts, for it is strong enough to save your souls” (James 1:21, New Living Translation).
Paul also pointed to a major source of garbage–pride. He could claim lofty heights in his family bloodlines, education, and social status. Though all those things seem important to us, what is their end result? They encourage us to look down on others and count them of less value.
Yet God calls us to love one another regardless of these things. Awakened to this truth and compelled by his love for God, Paul led the way for us. He chose to change his attitude.
Focus: “I once thought all these things were very important, but now I count them as worthless … when compared the with priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage” ~ Philippians 3:7-8, (New Living Translation).
How about you? How would your life change if you took seriously God’s Word and Paul’s example?