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Garbage Out!

Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression.
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Psalm 19:13-14

I have a confession to make: I just stopped recording a television program-and it was painful! Painful because I really didn’t want to do it. Painful because I enjoyed the cast, the writing, and having something mindless to watch each week. I spent days agonizing over what should have been an easy process, even coming up with a list of reasons why I deserved to watch this show.

The bottom line, however, was the program was spiritual garbage for me, and I knew it. Even though it involved storybook characters and a “good versus evil” theme (can you figure out which show it was yet?), it wasn’t really adding value to my life. And, when I took a closer, more honest look, the light versus dark aspect of the program was growing greyer week by week.

These are times when verses like the ones above help in making decisions about so many aspects of life. The author, King David, began this psalm by praising God, and then he explained the blessings of being guided by His Word:

The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.

(verse 8)

The Lord’s ways are good, right, and pure. As we try to live by His guidelines, we will see things differently-His way. When we seek to really be like the Lord, we’ll have the same cry as David: “Keep your servant also from willful sins.” And, most of all, we’ll want to speak, think, and act in ways that please Him and give Him glory-all the time.

In order to live in this manner, we need to get rid of anything that’s basically rubbish. Remember the old adage: garbage in, garbage out? It’s all too true. If we’re filling our eyes, ears, and minds with less-than-worthy things, then what’s likely to fill our thoughts and impact our actions?

Last month, I realized I had some garbage that needed to go. And after a few withdrawal pains from my former favorite program, I’m surprisingly okay. I’ve actually been able to read the books I never seemed to have time for before!

How about you? What “garbage” would you like to clear out today? Maybe it’s a magazine you wish you hadn’t bought, or a video game you realize is distracting you from family and other priorities. Perhaps your choices in movies, friends, or hangouts need some reconsideration. Or it could simply be whatever you keep meditating on and ruminating about must go – now. Pray and ask for wisdom about how the Lord is calling you to live.

Like King David, let’s strive more than ever to do what we can to be blameless for our Redeemer. Let us delete the garbage, whatever it is. When we do, we’re promised we will experience a joy that nothing on earth could ever provide.

Thought of the Month

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God-this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:1-2