“You know,” Stan began, “how there seems to be two disposal containers just about everywhere? One is for trash and one is for recycling.”
“Yes,” I replied, “sometimes it’s hard to decide what goes where.”
“That’s true, my friend,” Stan replied. “But in James’ letter in the Bible, he laid out a simple plan for me to make decisions about what goes where.”
“He wrote about recycling?” I asked.
“Kind of,” Stan replied with a smile. “But what he wrote about mainly was trash and where to put it.”
“How so?” I asked.
“James wrote about putting aside all filthiness and what remains of wickedness,” Stan replied. “To me, that means that I am to put the garbage of filthiness and wickedness that is in my life where it belongs. And that is in the trash.”
Continuing, he said, “I am not to recycle that filthiness and wickedness into some other form that keeps me from walking ever more closely with God. No, I am to get rid of it permanently. Put it in the garage disposal, or in the trash can to be hauled away, never to be seen again.”
“If I don’t permanently remove the filth and wickedness that may exist in my life, it is apt to be recycled and come back into my life in a different form.”
“And,” I asked, “does this fall into the same category of what it means to be a disciple?”
“It does, my friend,” Stan said. “I am to deny self by getting rid of the trash. I am to take up the cross by being who and doing what God intends., whatever the cost. And I am to follow Jesus wherever He wants to lead.”
Therefore putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. James 1:21.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for the truth of your word and of your voice in telling me to get rid of everything in my life that interferes with my relationship with you. I confess that too often I do not heed your word and merely recycle into another form the things that keep me from being who and doing what you intend. I recycle rather than putting the trash where it belongs. Please forgive me. And please help me in following your lead in choosing to permanently get rid of everything that interferes with my relationship with you. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.