Trash Collector

“Come near to God, and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:8

Have you ever collected trash?

I don’t mean on a truck but just throughout your day or week, sticking it in your pocket, purse or backseat of a car- just until you get to a trash can… you know?

Old receipts, gum wrappers, junk mail- that sort of thing.

If this scenario sounds familiar to you and you’re anything like me, its usually not until you intentionally sit down and clean out the purse/ car/ pocket that you finally take out all of the trash you’ve collected.

You might discard some here and there while you’re on the run, but usually it takes intentional time set aside to get every discarded what-have-you out.

Time sorting through what stays (like that post-it with that number you thought you had lost) and what goes (like that coffee cup you no longer need)- and kicking it to the curb- garbage bag- can- place.

And it is so satisfying when you are done. There is a calm that comes and a heaviness that falls knowing that the trash is out and no longer able to be all up in your world.

Well, at least your external world.

But there is internal trash too.

Words others say, thoughts we have and really anything we may be holding onto mentally or emotionally that does not lend to our growth, our peace or our purpose and that ultimately hurts us spiritually.

Trash by definition (per the google) is that which is discarded or refuse. But before we put action to the noun- it is litter, debris, junk…

And overtime the internal “sight” of this trash makes it hard to find peace, facilitate growth and live out our purpose.

Like the trash in the bottom of a purse or in the back of the car- it is not necessarily heavy- but it brings with it its own weight- and consciously or subconsciously- we know its there- and we know it needs to be thrown out.

And because we are busy, we often procrastinate throwing it out. Because sometimes throwing something out internally can be hard work.

Negative narratives are hard to change.

Forgiving others who are not sorry will never happen by accident.

And aside from just a trash bag- we are probably going to need a bucket and a scrub brush because we’ve definitely left somethings lay way too long.

So… what is the motivation (if any) for setting aside intentional time in our crazy schedules to go about this especially hard task?

Double-mindedness will wreck you.

Negative words and narratives will hinder your willingness and trust to grow and drive you from your God given potential and purpose.

Meanwhile, true forgiveness requires real personal honesty and until you sort through your feelings- its just like whatever it is that got left in the backseat, secretly cementing itself into the floor, while you put off throwing it out another day.

And the only way to cure double-mindedness? To combat the world’s words with God’s truth? To clarify the “they say” v. “He says” battle?

Draw near to God.

How?

Stop collecting trash- and take it out.

Wash and purify.

Referencing the google one more time- definition of purify- remove contaminants from.

Also known as, take the trash out of.

Purify your heart.

The heart forms before the brain and it plays a big part in forming most of our thoughts.

Get real with your emotions.

You cannot control others- what they do, say or think- but you can control what you do, say or think- and what you chose to hold onto. And you don’t have to hold onto or pick up everything thrown at you.

You are worthy.

God’s already said it. Jesus has already claimed it. So if there’s anything telling you otherwise- It probably needs to be intentionally cleaned up and tossed out.

Note- some messes may need to be revisited a few times to get it fully up and out- and that is okay. Some trash leaves residue and there may need to be several steps- just like sometimes I clean my car out, later vacuum and later later get it detailed-

Just start with the first step and go from there-

And a reminder- as you go about drawing near to God, remember He has never drawn away from you. Although we must come back and draw near to Him, He has always been and will always be readily Present.

Cheers, Prayers and Blessings Friends!

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash – Thank you!

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