Does the thought of a new garbage can excite you?
For the past year (or maybe more?) our family has gotten used to our broken garbage can. We usually wear items out in our house until they are completely non-functioning. But when we were asked by a relative to make up a wish list for Christmas, my husband and I thought it would be nice to upgrade to a functioning trash receptacle. So we requested an exact duplicate of the one that was currently in our home.
It’s not a fancy high-tech garbage can, like the ones that have sensors to automatically open the top with a magic wave of your hand. Just simply the kind that you step on a pedal with your foot to lift the lid.
This sanitary assisting base broke so long ago that it became an accepted habit to pick up the lid in the front with our hands every time we needed to throw something out. The unhygienic broken method became the new norm.
So when we set up the new fully-foot-functioning garbage can in our kitchen, we were excited to not have to use our hands anymore. Except guess what . . . we still used our hands instead of our feet!
We had become so accustomed to the wrong way of doing something, that it took a very conscious effort to retrain our brains to do something the right way.
Mentally I knew that our trash situation was fixed--but old habits are hard to break. It became frustrating over the next week to catch myself physically messing up. I would only remember that the foot pedal worked after I had already raised the lid with my hands.
And then one day, I smiled when I caught myself failing--because my old garbage habit brought my thoughts to spiritual connections:)
“I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.” (Romans 7:15 NLT)
Sometimes a person may KNOW the right thing to do, but still struggle with actually DOING it. Sinful habits are hard to break.
“I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.” (Romans 7:19 NLT)
I am still getting used to the correct way of throwing out garbage, and I will continuously exercise my brain in forming a new way of thinking and acting. Eventually, I will become accustomed to the foot pedal and stop reaching for the lid. The correct way will become my new norm.
It’s not as easy or possible to train our brains to stop sinning. No one is without sin except God. However, we have help with curbing garbage habits in life. We are not alone in fighting the battle against sin.
“I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord . . .” (Romans 7:21-26 NLT)
We are not capable of living sin-free, but this doesn’t mean we have to feel dominated and defeated by our wrongdoings. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can willfully discard sinful habits. Create new norms.
Stay close to the Helper. For when we mess up, He is there to pick us up.
Live wisely and peacefully in the unending forgiveness, grace, and love of our Lord.
Happy New Year 2018!!!
Even better than a new garbage foot pedal is the spiritual footing made available to us!
“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.” (Psalm 143:10 NLT)