We all have some forms of sin, or as my husband, Mark, puts it, “Bags of trash to take out.” Many of those bags of trash were taken out when I first became a Christian. They were the light ones. Small and easy to take out. I have to admit, I still have bags of trash laying around in my life.
The bags that are left, are heavier and harder to manage. And unfortunately, I find myself closing my eyes to them at times. I tell myself, “If God wants this garbage out of my life, He’s going to have to take it out Himself.” And I say, “Hey God, look at all the bags that have already been taken out. Weren’t they enough?”
Those heavy bags are the reoccurring or habitual sin in our lives. I look at these sins as learned habits, because as it says in Romans 6: 6 and 7, “For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin- because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.” When we sin now, a lot of the time it’s out of habit, not addiction.
Example: Mark smoked for a large part of his life. He acquired a physical addiction to cigarettes. When he decided to quit smoking, it took a lot of self-control for him to break free of the addiction. After one month of resisting the urge to smoke, the physical addiction was gone, but the habit that his flesh had learned was still there. For about a year after he quit, he would still reach for those cigarettes that were no longer in his pocket.
Jesus has done the biggest part for us by dying on the cross and breaking the physical addiction to sin. What is left behind is the habit of sin. It is easier to get rid of some habits than others. Or as I put it before, “Some bags of trash are lighter than others.” They all have to be taken out because, like trash, if we close our eyes to it, the bigger the bag and the longer it sits there, the more it stinks and pretty soon everybody will be complaining about it.
Taking out some of these bags of trash is like trying to unlearn to ride a bike, it’s almost impossible once you’ve learned how. It’s a good thing that God makes the impossible, possible.
I like to picture myself as the child, putting my whole heart into picking up a heavy bag of trash and trying to drag it to the curb. Now, I picture God, our loving Father, watching us make this effort. With prayer, work and faith, I can picture Gods strong hand, reaching down, lifting the bag from our life and replacing it with the miracle of change. God has already done the hardest part through Jesus, now it’s our turn. Let’s pray and ask God what needs to be taken out. Let’s listen, and make a heart felt decision to get rid of the trash. And let’s thank God for being there to help us.