ROOTED IN LOVE ◽ ENCOURAGEMENT
Is it just me, or is cleaning out the fridge one of the worst ways to spend thirty minutes? Seriously, I can find some really nasty stuff in there! It’s not something I particularly enjoy, but it has to be done every once in a while. It’s important to get rid of old, moldy stuff before it starts to stink. And it’s good to wipe the shelves and drawers down once in a blue moon, too. Cleanliness is important, along with staying organized. Admittedly, I have never been very good at either of those things, but it’s something I have been working on over the last several years.
If you know me at all, you already know that I like to compare ordinary things to spiritual life. Everyday life is chock full of metaphors if you really look for them. And of course, I couldn’t help finding one of those metaphors as I was cleaning out my fridge. While I threw away rock hard cinnamon rolls and mushy grapes, I thought about the importance of cleaning out our hearts and minds. Every now and then, it’s good to take inventory of our thoughts and feelings. There may be things we’re holding onto that aren’t healthy anymore. As we grow and mature, we have to throw some things away. We can’t expect better things to come if we’re stuck in the past. Sometimes we have to let go and make room for something new.
Just like the expiration date on a carton of milk, certain thoughts or behaviors start to turn sour if we let them linger too long. Spiritual growth means discarding fleshly behavior and replacing it with a Christ-like attitude. We must comb through our inner selves to determine which traits are of God, and which are of the world. Which thoughts and actions are pleasing to our Lord, and which ones cause us to be distant from Him?
In the Old Testament, God speaks about the pleasing aroma of His people’s sacrifices. I don’t know about you, but when I leave rotten food in my fridge, the aroma is far from pleasant! And you know, the same is true about our hearts. When we allow sinful nature to linger and fester, it can really start to stink. It can even make us nasty and unpleasant to be around, and God does not take joy in that. But when we clear out our fleshly ways, making room for His presence and influence in our hearts, we become beautiful and fragrant to Him. He delights in us when we become more like Him, glorifying Him through our thoughts, speech and actions.
If we want to be more like Jesus, we have to cleanse our hearts. It can be scary and painful and hard, but it’s so worth it when we blossom into the women we were created to be. We can sit in our stink and let ourselves rot. Or we can choose to become something fresh and new!
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”