How trashy are you?

There’s a lot of things we do every day, some of which we have to do or should do.

For example, we breathe every day (it’s not a good thing not to). We eat every day (often, too much). We bathe every day (at least we should; if you don’t, you might want to re-think this one).

But there’s also something we do every day that we usually don’t pay any attention to.

What is it?

We generate a lot of trash every day.

I’m talking about something that goes into the trash can. Every day, we’re throwing something away. Whether it’s a food wrapper, an empty can, used paper towels, uneaten food, an empty ink pen, a dull razor, in many ways we’re generating trash every day.

A lot of it.

According to estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency, each person in the United States creates a daily average of 4.5 pounds of solid waste. Since there are roughly 300 million people living in America, together we generate approximately 1.35 billion pounds of garbage every day.

We are, indeed, throwing away a lot of trash!

Unfortunately, though, we’re holding onto a lot of trash that should be thrown away but isn’t. It’s not the solid waste sort of trash, but the garbage that clutters our hearts and minds. Junk thinking, garbage desires, and lots of trash talk. All sorts of rubbish scripture implores us to get rid of …

“So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech,” 1 Peter 2:1.

When we become Christians, we partner with the Holy Spirit to clean out the junk in our lives …

“Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God — truly righteous and holy. So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth , for we are all parts of the same body. And ‘ don’t sin by letting anger control you.’ Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them … Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior,” Ephesians 4:21-29, 31.

“Let there be no sexual immorality impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes — these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God,” Ephesians 5:3-4.

There are several other passages of scripture that help us identify the trash we may generate that needs to be thrown out. The Apostle Paul summarizes such exhortations with a clear reason why we need to take out the spiritual trash …

“Don’t participate in the things these people do. For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of the light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true,” Ephesians 5:7-8.

What kind of garbage are you hanging onto that needs to go into the trash? Are you living as “people of the light,” or still hoarding darkness?