Written by: Chuck Pawlus
Retired Contracting Officer
Bible Study Leader
Ephesians 4:31 (NIV)
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
Growing up in Michigan, I always looked forward to spring. Winter, and its bleak cold covering, were transitioning into warmer weather with trees blooming. Everything seemed to be coming back to life. Along with the warmer weather came spring cleaning. As a family, we would clean the garage, throw out the garbage, pick up debris, and pull the weeds that seemed to magically appear after winter made its exit. When we were finished, everything in the garage was clean again and grass grew where the weeds once were. What a beautiful sight!
We wondered where all the debris, dirt, and weeds came from. Wasn’t it just last spring we performed all these same cleaning tasks? Debris blew into our yard from the neighborhood, dirt seemed to appear, and weeds grew back despite our efforts to eliminate them. Like debris, dirt, and weeds, sin seems to appear from nowhere and accumulate.
Without actively “cleaning,” we find ourselves dirty with sin’s impact, negative thoughts, and destructive behaviors. Spiritually, we need to “spring clean” our hearts and minds to battle the effects of sin that accumulate. God’s word provides guidance on proper spring-cleaning practices.
- Identify sin and harmful thoughts. Ask God to expose sin. “Test me, O LORD, and try me; examine my heart and mind.” (Psalm 26:2)
- Take out the garbage and pull the weeds of sin. “Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander.” (1 Peter 2:1)
- Replace with Godly thoughts and actions. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)
Heavenly Father, thank You for the work of Jesus, Your Spirit, and Your Word that guides us to keep our thoughts and focus on You. Help us to rid our hearts and minds of sinful and destructive thoughts and replace with thoughts that are true and pure and of Your unfailing love.