When a house is remodeled or renovated, a dumpster of some type is generally needed to deal with the trash and construction waste. Sometimes there is old furniture, random junk, or used appliances that need to go, all of which is excitedly tossed into the dumpster.

First, though, there needed to be a judgment call. Hmm, is this trash? Are we keeping this? Should I toss that?

Along with removal usually comes replacement. An old, worn out, stinky easy chair may get replaced with a nice new fresh one.

Imagine this happening in your house. You order a dumpster and it is parked in your driveway. For about a week you throw in all sorts of garbage. People drive past and see the stuff in the dumpster and are impressed that you are cleaning out. You are excited about it, of course, and begin telling people all about it. Your friends come over and you show them all the junk in the dumpster. You tell them how glad you are to be getting rid of it. You might even climb in the dumpster to root through some stuff as they watch, exclaiming that you can’t believe you actually sat on a chair like that. What were you thinking?

Finally, a wise person must tell you bluntly:


You are shocked. “What? Aren’t you happy that I’m getting rid of this?”

“Yes, we are thrilled, honestly. But we’re not all that impressed with seeing the trash. Just call the company and tell them to come get it. It’s doing no one any good sitting in the driveway. Could you show us the new stuff now? We’re really excited to see it!”

Even with the noblest intention of using it for good, frequently bringing up the past will keep you living in it. It may also seem to others as if you enjoy talking about it. Surely it would be better to leave the foolish things rest and rather excitedly talk about the righteous activities you now have substituted in their place.

One way we can get rid of the dumpster is to evaluate the things we have put aside “in case we need/want them later.”

I am not insinuating that all things we put aside are bad. It’s not wrong to keep good things. A mother may stash some dishes of food in the back of the refrigerator to use for the children’s lunches next week. A man may hang spare auto parts above his workbench to use as a replacement someday. I’m referring to things that we remove from our lives while under conviction, but, well, maybe not completely.

Maybe you have DVDs, twitter feeds, or mp3s that need deleted or disposed of properly. Aw man, but I paid a lot of money to download that album. So you delete it from your phone, but in the back of your mind you know you have it saved on your external hard drive ‘in case you want them someday.’ Or perhaps you realize that romance novels are pornography and so you stop reading them. Don’t allow them to occupy space on the bookshelf. I’m not going to read them any more, but I’d hate to just throw them out. I say, get rid of the dumpster.

It’s great to help others get rid of things in their life. It proves you are a true friend. But try to avoid dumpster diving in other people’s trash. That never helps anything.

Our success may be spotty. We may backslide. We’ll go right back to our old ways unless we consciously catch ourselves and say, “No, that’s trash. It’s bad and it has to go out.”

Don’t revisit the landfill either. It’s not going to help anything to wonder how your trash is doing today and if it got there safely. Memories of the past don’t have to haunt you. Anything under the blood of Jesus Christ should motivate you to keep pressing on with the new you. But maybe you feel condemned. This feeling is nonsense if the death of Jesus Christ really paid for our sins. We cannot fall back into condemnation. Otherwise God would be getting multiple invoices and making multiple payments for the same sin. Jesus did what we should have done but couldn’t so that when He became our Savior we are no longer under condemnation.

Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

Romans 4:7-8 “Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.”

I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

II Chronicles 29 details a cleansing of the temple initiated by King Hezekiah. After everything was cleansed, the chapter concludes with an interesting comment: “And Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, that God had prepared the people: for the thing was done suddenly.”

I like that – the thing was done suddenly. Do you have a sudden urge to do some cleaning?



Did that encourage you?

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