3 ways to spiritually clean your heart

Psalm 51:10

When I was a young woman just starting out in this word, the last thing I expected to make my life easier was garbage day. Yep, garbage day.

For the past ten years, our local waste management company has helped me organize my life by picking up our garbage every Monday.

What’s so special about Monday? Nothing really, except it’s the start of a new week for me.

On Sunday, I clean out the refrigerator and collect all the trash in the house. In the evening, my husband takes the full, and sometimes heavy, garbage cans to the curb where they sit and wait for the garbage truck the next day.

When I leave in the morning, the cans are filled with mounds of accumulated garbage. But when I return at the end of the day, the cans are empty.

It’s a satisfying feeling knowing that the house has been cleared of all garbage. But the results of this weekly ritual do not last. Within a day, more garbage is starting to accumulate, and by Sunday, we start the process of removing the trash from our home once again.

Scripture reminds me that when I remove the trash from my spiritual life, it will have long lasting effects. Here are five ways we can remove all of the trash and renew our hearts.

1. Confess your sins to God
Our sins weigh us down and hold us hostage. But the healing power of confession restores our relationship with God and sets us free.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (NIV)

2. Read scripture
Immerse yourself in God’s word every day. His words are alive and will clean the depths of your heart and renew your spirit.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 (NIV)

3. Forgiveness
When we refuse to forgive someone who has hurt us, we become bitter. It drains our emotional energy and can affect our health. More importantly, God cannot remove the garbage of our sins unless we forgive others.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32 (NIV)

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10 thoughts on “3 ways to spiritually clean your heart

  1. Trash! I think that’s a perfect way to describe things that litter our hearts and clog our relationship with God and others. Much easier to want to get rid of them when we think about it this way instead of holding onto attitudes and justifying them as ‘necessary.’ Thanks for this practical post!

  2. There is something really great about trash day. I’m glad we have it. A few years back I was in a large city in Italy whose sanitation workers were on strike. Everyone had continued to haul their garbage to the curb even though no one would be clearing it away. Can you say stinky? It really piled up after a while. Take it from me, make a clean sweep of your spiritual often to keep it clutter and stench free. You’ll be happy, and so will those around you. Thanks for writing!

  3. You remind me of the picture I have in my mind of all the Jewish ladies clearing the yeast out of their houses before major celebrations. Here in the country we make a trip to the dump once a week. It’s great to get rid of all the junk and start fresh!

  4. Love the trash analogy. Psalm 51:10 is one of my favorite scriptures. Oh how thankful I am to the Father for taking out the heart of stone and giving me a heart of flesh. Happy to be visiting from Grace & Truth linkup.

  5. Great trash analogy. I never really thought before that the garbageman helps me with my organization!

    You are so right; confessing sin, immersing ourselves in scripture, and being quick to forgive keeps our heart clean. It’s a continual thing, just like I have to keep cleaning out that fridge.

  6. I loved the way you used trash to remind of the extra trash we try to keep and it just weighs us down. To go to the Secret Place, let his flood lights capture the things we hide and just yield to his cleansing power is life changing. Thanks again for a good reminder. Blessings to you. I’m glad I found you today at the Grace and Truth Link-up. Yours in Him, Chris

  7. Yes! So good, Jenny. As Christians I think we sometimes forget number one. Not in a malicious way, but I think we get so busy that we overlook this most important action in our daily renewal. I love your graphic with this post too – a beautiful picture of letting God’s Word clean us and make us like new. Awesome!

  8. This analogy really gets me thinking! What would happen if we didn’t deal with trash daily? It would accumulate and build up. It’s the same with sin in our lives. If we don’t deal with it right away, we will fall deeper and deeper into it. I also think about how we take our trash cans to the curb and someone else takes care of it…this can be like how Jesus deals with our sin. If we take our trash to the cross, He will take care of it, He will dispose of it properly. Good thoughts here…

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