“Watch your life and doctrine closely.”
1 Timothy 4:16
What’s in your junk file? While searching the internet with my son-in-law for information on a particular football team, I clicked on the icon “images,” and what popped up on my computer screen was nothing short of disgusting. I wanted to crawl under the table from the embarrassment I felt in the presence of this young man. Even if I had been alone, the same emotion would have prevailed. In a panic, I fumbled but eventually was able to remove the pictures of which both of our eyes were being assaulted.
Recently, I was looking for a major email message, and being directed by a friend, I decided to check my Spam page, fearing it may have inadvertently been sent there. I have never been to this page before but when I opened it, again, the messages that bombarded my sight were beyond disgusting. Fortunately, this time, I was alone but still felt exploited and dirty, though innocent. In the section at the top of the page was a box labeled, “Delete Forever.” After highlighting every page of filth, I chose the box that promised it would all go away. Every day, now, I have to go into my Spam file to clean it out. Knowing what is no doubt going to be waiting for me there, I try to get the task done without looking at the sorted messages in the process.
How great would it be if you and I could “delete forever,” all of the “junk,” lurking in the hidden places of our lives? Lust, greed, jealousy, anger, deceitfulness, un-forgiveness, just to name a few. In the same way, our email computer system quickly fills up with messages, our minds, by the end of each day are left with the residue of messages that get filtered through our various encounters. Escaping this fact is impossible. Unless we choose to live as hermits, we are otherwise forced into making choices throughout the day that affects both our actions and attitudes. Keeping a clean slate with God and those with whom we interact, is a good place to start.
So, how do we do this? Remember the “delete forever” computer message? Here are God’s version and solution to that message. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people…For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Jeremiah 31:33-34, NIV. God cleans out our “inbox,” and gives us a brand new “page” from which to begin again.
“Because of the LORD’S great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23, NIV.