"Trashy people!" my husband's Mamaw used to tease, every Friday afternoon when she accompanied my mother-in-law to pick up our trash.
Sounds a bit odd, I know. But we live out in the country and have a pick up truck, so why pay for garbage service? My husband and his mom take the trash to the dump instead. Actually, she usually takes it for us on Fridays as a favor to her son. She's a good woman, right? Certainly not a glamorous job!
However, we are a family of 5, and we have bags and bags of trash! And now that Mamaw is gone, my mother-in-law is the one who comments, "Trashy people!" each week. Of course, it's said all in good fun, but is there any truth to it?
Unfortunately, I believe there is.
Our culture is trashy. Period. Just take a look at what is on Primetime TV, on the New York Times best seller list, in the movies, on the radio.
Recently, God has been showing me that we are as trashy as we allow ourselves and our families to be. I have been reading the Book of James about once a week. It is quite convicting in many areas.
James 1:27 (NIV) Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Not trying to sound legalistic here...or judgmental. I watch shows and listen to songs that some of you may think are inappropriate. Each one of us must decide for ourselves what we will allow before our eyes, what we will listen to, and what degree of language (pure, slanderous, or profane) we will use or accept as inoffensive. But we can't deny that God's Word gives clear instructions.
In talking with a friend of mine at the pool a few weeks ago, she shared with me something Beth Moore said in her James study - Mercy Triumphs. She referred to "washing the world off."
We have to live in the world, yes. But we can and should be washing it right off of us. And we are called to lead pure and blameless lives. Not to be a friend with the world. In fact, James 4:4 says that, "friendship with the world is hatred toward God." Pretty strong, huh?
As Christians, we should look different to non-Christians. We should not blend in so much.
We should be Light to the world. Not accepting what God has deemed sinful, but living out what we read in God's Word. And prayerfully and purposefully teaching our children the same thing.
Yes, it is hard stuff. But let's not get lazy and give up!
This trashy woman has allowed herself and her family to become polluted by the world.
I have caved to the culture. And then I have had to make it right.
Apologize to my kids.
Set new boundaries.
Like going to the dump once a week, we need worship with other believers every Sunday morning. And unless we want our kitchens to stink, we also need to be taking out the trash daily.
The same is true with our bodies. If we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit lives inside of us. Let's keep a clean and tidy place for Him to hang out!
The Comfort Zone:
1 John 1:9 (NIV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
If this post speaks to you, here are some things to consider:
Ask God to show you areas you have let the world slip in and pollute your soul.
If you have children, ask Him to show you where you may need to re-establish boundaries for their well being.
As you shower each day, imagine yourself washing off the filth the culture has splattered on, and thank the Lord you are merely passing through.
Father, forgive us for the times we have caved to the culture. Show us how to live in the world as the example You expect from Your children. Help us to practice what we preach and shine Light into darkness. Draw our children close to You and give them strength to represent You well even when their peers may ridicule them. And thank You for faithfully forgiving us when we confess our worldly waywardness. In Jesus' name, Amen.
For His Glory,
(c) 2012 by Christy Long. All rights reserved.