Thursdays are trash days at our house. Throughout the week we collect trash, you know those things that are no longer useful or promoting of a healthy home environment. On Thursday mornings we take the cart of deposited trash to the street curb to be picked up–never to return again.

By the time I leave for work, I can see other trash carts lining the street. Even though each household has its own share of trash, it’s not a subject often talked about among neighbors. After all, trash is personal: Everyone has it and no one should have the responsibility of taking care of his neighbor’s garbage.

The same can be true about the spiritual garbage in our lives—those things that are a byproduct of our sinful nature. These issues are personal; even though we each experience these issues in our lives, we don’t like to talk about them, and each of us is only responsible for our own spiritual refuse.

Throughout Scripture, the Bible speaks to the issue of spiritual garbage or sin in our lives. 1 Peter 2:1 says: Rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. The author tells us to “rid ourselves” of these things, because sin is personal and needs to be dealt with by each individual. Even though God will remove sin from our lives, we must choose to allow Him to do so.

To “rid ourselves” of those things that oppose God is very similar to taking our trash to the curb. By taking our sins to Jesus and asking Him for forgiveness we are choosing to repent; deciding to leave our sins behind and guarding against their return.

Through repentance we change undesired behaviors to those that please God. 1 Peter 2:2 tells us: Like newborn babies crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation. Similar to the way we replace the wasted garbage in our house with new products, we should choose to willingly exchange those things that lead to decay in our personal lives for those things that will mature us. Just as a weekly disposing of trash keeps our homes environmentally clean, so too a constant repenting of sin enhances our relationship with Jesus.

Parents, when your child becomes old enough to begin taking out the trash, that would be an opportune time to teach him the spiritual significance of this household chore!