Taking Out the Trash
Because I live in the world, I am prone to have my senses bombarded with visions, sounds and feelings that are unhealthy for me. I really can’t avoid them — yes, I may work to minimize them and their affect on me — but if I’m truly living for God, then I am not sheltered and confined to an environment devoid of ungodly things.
How can I share Christ with those who do not know him if I do not allow myself to engage with those who don’t know him (1 Corinthians 5:9-10)? While it’s imperative that I refrain from behaving sinfully or engaging in sinful activities, that does not mean I can’t befriend those who do. In fact, only by spending time with those apart from Christ can I possibly hope for them to see Christ in me.
Besides, unless I was a complete hermit, there really would be no way for me to prevent my interaction with non-believers. My days are filled with interaction with others who do not think the way I do. And so, the activities and influences of the world do permeate my senses, and I must contend with them daily.
To this end, I must work to expunge those thoughts and ideas the world may find acceptable to them, but that are not acceptable to God. Cursing and abusive thoughts or words heard in contemporary music are damaging and contradictory to my Spirit. While I cannot block such ideas, imagery or sensations from getting into my mind in the first place, I can and must work to expel such things from my mind daily, and replacing them with the good things of God, such as scripture and prayer (Psalm 51).
So, in my own heart and mind, I must Take Out the Trash, being careful to fill my heart and mind with good things so that when I am bombarded by negative sensory input, there is less room for that trash to be stored there, and a lot less work in cleaning up.