Do you have a kindness problem? Maybe you just need to take out the trash.

I’m going to confess something… Sometimes it is work for me to be kind. Sometimes being irritable and grumpy wins. These are not days I am proud of or want to post on social media for all to see. (I’m not a fan of grumpy posts… If there are too many in my feed, I start unsubscribing.) When I was reading the Bible today I uncovered something that may be the culprit. Maybe it will help you too…

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Ephesians 4:31-32

Before Paul lays out what we should do, (be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving) he tells us what we need to get rid of. There is garbage in our heart that needs to be bagged up and put in the dumpster. We have to get the smelly, rotten stuff far away from us. Stuff like bitterness, wrath, anger, slander. All of these things we feel entitled to hold on to. The truth is, it is trash that as we let it pile up, gets more stinky and rotten. I’m a list person, so here is my list for today.

Stuff to get rid of:

  • Bitterness (Let it go.)
  • Wrath (No more revenge.)
  • Anger (It stinks.)
  • Clamor (I don’t need to bring others in and get them worked up over my issue.)
  • Slander (If it is not uplifting, I will not share it.)
  • Malice (I will purpose in my heart to only do good.)

The smell of dirty garbage can permeate an entire house. In the same way, the stench of bitterness, wrath, anger and slander can fill our hearts and it seems to spill out of our mouths. We have to make a decision to get the garbage to the curb. No more bitterness, let go of anger, embrace self-control and stop wrath and slander. I’m certain that this is a chore that will need to be repeated. I also know that it gets easier and faster with practice! The beauty of this is that it is not a task that is impossible. We have help. As we embrace and come to understand the depth of Christ’s love for us, we can follow Him in all of this. Because God loves me so much, He has extended lavish forgiveness and mercy and grace to me. The least I can do in light of this is to take out the trash and be kind.