I recently moved house, and, although I haven’t moved far, I have moved across county lines. This brings me into a whole new set of local district regulations. I’ve moved from a county where the recycle bin was blue to one where it is black. Not only that, but I can no longer put glass in the recycle bin. It must go in a separate container. For anything plastic, all of the previous regulations using the little triangle with a number have gone out of the window. Only plastic bottles can be recycled. Everything else is now classed as rubbish.
Unfortunately, I only read the regulations the night before putting the bin out. Which meant I found myself head down in the bin at 8pm, fishing out all the wrong things I had unwittingly thrown in.
As I was doing this, I started to wonder how much stuff I put into my spiritual recycle bin instead of putting it straight into God’s disposal bin, things like recycled hurts – maybe shame, guilt or rejection, things like recycled sin – pride, jealousy or unforgiveness, the things that we think we have given to God but somehow keep coming up to be ‘reused’. That could be in arguments we have, or the masks that we wear, or the ways we behave. It’s these things of pretence in our lives that need to go into the disposal bin, rather than the recycle bin. And they need to stay there and not get fished out!
In Romans chapter 2, Paul is talking about the physical act of circumcision that was given to Abraham as an act of covenant for the Jewish people with God. Paul says that physical circumcision is not what is needed, but rather circumcision of the heart. Circumcision is painful. It means cutting something out of our lives. The thing that is cut out becomes dead, it can never be reused or recycled.
When we put something into the recycle bin and squash it down to the bottom in the hope that it will get lost there, it doesn’t die, it lives. But it isn’t new, fresh, godly living. Instead, it’s something living in the dark that we don’t really want to see, but that has the tendency to rise to the surface when we are pushed.
Paul writes that, whether we are Jew or Gentile, our hearts must be given to God to be circumcised by His Spirit – to truly release the things we have tried to hold on to. Then God will provide healing for the wounds and hurts of our hearts, and forgiveness for the sin in our hearts.
What sin or wound in your life needs to be brought to Jesus and put into the disposal bin to be dealt with once and for all?
Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, that You want to take my sin and my wounds and cleanse me from all the rubbish in my heart. Help me to know that I can trust You in this process, and that Your Holy Spirit will lead me in Your paths of righteousness. Amen.
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