Have you ever had someone to call you on the phone, or pull you to the side, then use you as their personal dumping ground? I have. They dumped all of their negative opinions, complaints, and gossip right into my soul. I wonder what they would have said had I responded, “ Where’s the lid for the garbage can? Cause you sure are dumping a lot of junk in my trunk!” Maybe they would have hung up the phone with a huff, or walked away, laughing my comment off by saying, “Honey, you know what I’m saying is the truth!”
Okay, so I didn’t tell them that, but I am learning that I don’t have to allow others to use me as their personal dumping ground. If I don’t stop them, by the time they finish, I’m frustrated, depressed, and my soul feels down right ‘icky’, as my youngest students would say. Not only do I have to sort through spiritual garbage, and forcefully eject it from my mind, but I must be proactive and prepared for the next encounter.
What has God been trying to teach me to do? Find something positive to say to counteract the negative flow from their mouths. Why? They need to hear it. More than that, I need to hear it. I need some balance in the conversation. I don’t need the enemy to pour trash into my soul. Enough is enough! I have a hard enough time on my own trying not to complain. I’m constantly wrestling with my old nature. With the assistance of the Holy Spirit, my aim is to think and say those things that are lovely, kind, excellent, and of a good report.
I don’t need strife, slander, negativity, gossip, whining, bitterness, and complaints flooding my soul. I need some peace. I crave it. I’m chasing after it; pursuing it with all my might. I need to hear life-producing words. I need someone to call me up and say, “I love you.” “Let me tell you a praise report.” “Let me tell you what God is doing in my life.” “You can make it.” I need someone to call and ask, “How was your day?” “I hope that you will have a great day tomorrow.” Simple words. That’s what I need. I need someone to call me up and before we finish our conversation ask, “May I pray for you?,” or say “Let’s pray.”
The journey I’m on is a long one. Just as I hate driving through a neighborhood that’s blanketed with trash, I don’t want someone’s trash infecting my mind, will, and emotions. I don’t want to turn on the television and listen to actors cursing up a blue streak. It’s like inviting people into my home to curse me out. By the way, can you please tell me why some television writers think that I need to have extremely graphic violence and explicit sexual images pop out at me in order for me to enjoy or relate to their story line? No, I would much rather that they keep the lid on.
My senses are the windows to my soul. I need to protect my soul from the world’s way of thinking and believing. I want to feed my heart and mind those ideas and truths that will make my life more excellent, more joyful, more energetic, and more loving.
The best way that I have found to do that is to focus on God’s Word. It is the living power that can change my life for the better. As a man thinketh in His heart, so is he. I want to be a woman of morals, standards, with a kind spirit. I want to be faithful, patient, loving, gentle, forgiving, joyful, and peaceful. I want the fruit of the Spirit to operate in my life. So I do my best to ‘take out the trash,’ and when necessary say, “Put a lid on it’ in the nicest way I can.
I’ve got enough garbage in my head already. I’m trying to take it out on a regular basis and fill my head with the Word of God. I’m trying to bring under subjection every idea, opinion, philosophy, and stronghold I encounter, by comparing it with the Word of God. If it doesn’t jive, line up with the Word, then out it’s going to go.
Trash day is Wednesday at my house. Everyday, we take out a plastic bag filled with something that needs to be thrown away. Then early Wednesday morning, my husband takes it all down to the curb. Trash day is going to be every day in my spiritual life from now on. It’s the Holy Spirit’s job to reveal to me the changes which need to take place in my life. Once I know it, then I am determined to submit to God, and say, “Yes Lord. Now please get rid of it.” I’m depending on the Holy Spirit to strengthen me so I may be able to ‘put the lid on the garbage’ (those things that are not pleasing in God’s eyesight) and ‘take the can to the curb.’
Gotta go. It’s very late and tomorrow’s trash day. Until you visit again, have a wonderful journey. And don’t forget to take out the trash!
Questions to consider:
1. “What has the Holy Spirit been entreating you to get rid of?
2. Why are you procrastinating?
3. How long will you put off being disobedient to His leading?
Scriptures to Consider:
Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Psalm 34:14 2 Timothy 2:22