Matters of Faith: Free of Past Trash

By Rev. J. Loren Russell

 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

1 John 1:8-10 NKJV

Garbage collection was this past Friday. As usual, I set my trash out where sanitation has easy access with the calm assurance that the bag would be picked up in the morning. To my dismay, the bag was still in front of my house, open, with the original refuse still inside. But now there was a cardboard box and bottles also in it. My wife and I were perplexed because neither she nor I would ever put cardboard and/or bottles in the same bag as household garbage. Besides, it was not a recycling day. Regrettably, we would be stuck with past trash for the entire weekend. 

That’s clearly a temporary situation and the past trash from last week will eventually be taken away. Just imagine what it must be like to carry past trash in your spirit not for a weekend, but for an entire lifetime and then to carry that trash into eternity. We all have past trash. The Bible calls that trash “sin.” If anyone says they have no sin, they deceive themselves and the truth is not in them. Sin, just like trash that we accumulate in our homes, is a part of life. So, no one should brag or boast about being sinless. “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). That makes us all guilty and in need of redemption. 

The sanitation departments of our cities pick up and dispose of garbage from our homes and businesses, but the trash that accumulates in our hearts are only disposed of by the grace and mercy of a Holy and righteous God. So, the Apostle John says in the text to confess our sins because “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” When He forgives and then cleanses us of our sins, He never leaves past trash to accumulate or rot. He scours our souls of all the filth, the smell and the damage that sin has caused in our lives and makes us whole again. 

A friend shared a profound thought with me many years ago that I have never forgotten. Talking about the universality of sin and the eternal compassion of forgiveness, he said, “Every saint has a past, but every sinner has a future.” Your future begins the moment you confess your sins — and let me say emphatically that the confession is not to another human being, but to God Himself through our Lord Jesus Christ. No sin is too big nor too small to be forgiven. “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Now go! Be free from past trash.  

Be blessed! 

Rev. J. Loren Russell, associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial & Strategic Consulting, host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio, Monday’s 8:00 – 10:00 PM (626-226-1448), author of Matters of Faith: The Book.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email