Don’t you hate when something spoils in a trash hamper in your home. What is your immediate response? You get the hamper out of your home as quickly as you can and dump the garbage in an exterior trash can making sure the lid is shut tightly. Or, if you have a sewage problem in your home that you can’t repair, you visit a relative or a friend, check into a hotel as fast you can or find some place to get away from the stench.
The Apostle Paul admonishes us in Ephesians 4:31 to take out the trash in our lives. And, he identifies what the trash is. “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” The Amplified Bible states this verse this way, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor [perpetual animosity, resentment, strife, fault-finding] and slander be put away from you, along with every kind of malice [all spitefulness, verbal abuse, malevolence].” If you have these characteristics in your life, your smell is repulsive. Get them out of your life!
What is the atmosphere, the “odor,” your life creates for others? How would you like to be your spouse? How about your children? How about your close family, neighbors, fellow employees who may have to be around you daily? If there is a problem, take out your trash or get your personal sewage problem fixed as soon as you can.
Then, Ephesians 4:32, Paul contrasts the “trash” verse with characteristics that are pleasant, attractive and edifying…things that don’t repel but propel others…things that are peaceful, encouraging, patient and calm not hard-hitting and unhealthy. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Don’t these characteristics “smell” good? You want to hang out around someone like this.
Allow me to challenge you in 2019, focus not so much on things that you do but the person that you are…not so much on projects as relationships. What kind of smell does your life produce? If need be, take out the trash!
Blessings to you and yours this upcoming year!