Sin – the Garbage of Life
Sin is found everywhere, not just throughout the Bible but everywhere. It is found at the first disobedience of Adam and Eve in taking of the tree that God told them to leave alone, to the latest disobedience in the voice of God to each of us. One of the words for sin means to miss the mark which might also refer to taking the wrong road. At other times, sin is represented in the Bible as the moral corruption that affects every one of us.
One thing about it: Whether people understand the theological implications of sin, sin is always creating a mess in our lives, homes, churches, world, government, activities, and sports. Wherever you see people, there will be a manifestation of sin from time to time. It is the garbage of our wrong relationships with God.
Recently I was at the Neshoba County Fair. As I sat visiting with some friends, which is one of the main activities at the Fair, a woman in the group began to talk about garbage – how it was made, handled, and disposed of. I thought for a moment the high August heat had gotten to her, but then after a few more sentences I realized that she was delving into a great spiritual truth. She was talking about garbage and using it for a metaphor for sin – the garbage of life. I began to realize what an important insight she was bringing to all of us. The fact is that all of us have participated in making sin garbage in our lives. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” That’s me, and that’s you. We all have made a mess at times, and we all have come in contact with the garbage that sin produces.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that each person in America makes about 4.4 pounds of garbage a day, or over 1,600 pounds a year. The question becomes, what in the world are you going to do with all that garbage? It has to be dealt with. For example, what happens to all that garbage generated at the Neshoba County Fair every year? Each cabin there is responsible for taking care of their own garbage and getting the garbage out to the pickup location near their cabin. The woman who was talking earlier about garbage made this insightful observation: Some folks use big black plastic bags to gather all of their garbage and carry it out, while other people use clear plastic bags. When they carry those transparent bags to the pickup spot, everyone can clearly see all their garbage. That’s why some of those folks keep their see-through garbage bags inside their cabins until it’s time for the garbage truck to come by. They carry it out then, because otherwise everyone could see their garbage waiting for pickup.
An amazing thought came into focus for me, that oftentimes that’s the way it is in life. Events happen in people’s lives. They sin. They make sin garbage and everyone sees it and comments on it. On the other hand, many people just quietly go along producing their garbage. They’re sinners, too, but they think they’re keeping their garbage hidden well enough that nobody will ever know they have any.
Some people believe because they are aware of other people’s sins but other people are not aware of theirs, they can feel better about themselves — a little more righteous, even self-righteous. Still, all have sinned and the garbage is still there. The wonderful thing is, there is provision from God to have our garbage picked up and disposed of. Jesus literally takes away all the sin garbage we create in our lives. He took all our trash upon Himself when He died on the cross. Today, He will still remove your sin and give you a clean heart. He will give you peace where there has been disturbance. He will give you purity where there has been corruption.
You can try to hide your garbage — conceal it in any kind of container you want or stick it over in the corner of your heart and just leave it there – but you’ll find the outcome will not be good. Proverbs 28:13 says, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” What a great truth about sin garbage. It can be dealt with, forgiven, removed — but not if we just keep it covered up. Get before God, carry out your garbage, and trust Him for He has made provision for you to have full and free forgiveness in Jesus Christ. Oh, will your life be different! Turn to Him today and find the rejoicing and release that comes because you no longer have to hide your sins when you take them to Jesus.
The author can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.