Posted in 1John, 2Corinthians

Taking the Trash Out 

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.” 2Corinthians 2:14

Alice and I once returned to our home to a horrible smell. Something was rotting in our trash can so we quickly tied up the bag and moved it to the outside garbage bin in our garage. The smell was so bad that I was already looking forward to Monday morning when I would take it to the curb and the trash man would take it off our property forever.

A Christian’s life is supposed to smell like faith, hope, and love; “the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him,” but sometimes it smells like something else. In our trash cupboard there is one bin for trash and one for recyclables. There are at least three bins in the Christian life that need to be quickly tied up and given to God or a bad smell starts coming from our lives.

  1. The sin bin – When the Holy Spirit makes it clear to us that we have sinned against God or people we need to quickly and fully confess and repent. If we justify ourselves it doesn’t go away, it starts smelling like condemnation. The Holy Spirit exposes our sin because it comes between us and God and wants only for us to confess it so we will have confidence again. (1 John 1:9)
  2. The trouble bin – Part of living on this planet is that we face various types of troubles every single day. If we don’t get them to God right away our lives start smelling like anxiety and eventually fear. God allows troubles because He wants us to trust Him and to get to know Him through His intimate care of us.
  3. The disappointment bin – When we are disappointed with God or people we become vulnerable so we must give our disappointments quickly to God. When we don’t, they turn into discouragement and if we let discouragement go long enough, it becomes depression.

You know, there’s an interesting thing about our trash man – he will only take the things that are at the curb. He never comes into my garage looking for the garbage. If it’s not at the curb, it doesn’t get picked up. It’s time to let go and let God!


Pastor at City Church in Madison, Wisconsin