Sunday, February 21, 2010

Fragrance or Odor?

Pastor Tim Howard
February 21, 2010

Recently, while praying for our city and county, I became very thankful for the many services provided by our governing authorities. There are programs to help children at risk, young adults struggling with anger, people in need of financial assistance and a full array of educational opportunities to name only a few.

One service that might be overlooked by many is the waste management department that is seen each and every day on streets throughout the city. When my wife and I moved to Hanford six years ago we received a brochure containing some information and instructions. The brochure described how we should separate the recyclable materials from the regular trash and gave directions for throwing away larger items like furniture. It went on to discuss many frequently asked questions and then gave the specific pick up days for our neighborhood. The instructions were simple: Take your waste container to the curb on the proper day and someone will come to take it away. WOW! That’s a needed service at a reasonable price.

Don’t laugh! Every house has trash that needs to be removed and it’s true for our personal lives as well. We all have some garbage laying around due to unhealed hurts, disappointments, painful memories, wounds, broken promises, broken hearts, unmet needs and unresolved issues. This garbage needs to have a means of systematically disposing of it. If not disposed it will become a hazard to one’s spiritual life and hinder future growth. It can also produce an odor that offends rather than a fragrance that makes life enjoyable. Simply stated; life stinks when we don’t remove the trash.

What needs to be disposed of in your life?

Is it your attitude that stinks and desperately needs to be changed? If that’s true for you, throw it out and get a different one. God can give a new attitude by giving you a new way of viewing life. When you see things from his vantage point, your attitude can change.

Maybe your actions or words are hurting people rather than helping them. Maybe there is some trash talk going on and your words have a stench surrounding them. Why not fill your mouth with words of praise rather than words of criticism. I guarantee if you do, the atmosphere will change and your words will be like a sweet smelling bouquet of flowers.

So, it’s time to take out the garbage! We know what to do with the practical stuff but what about the personal garbage? The city tells us to bring our stuff to the curb but the Bible tells us to bring our personal trash to the cross. The cross is the place where Jesus died for you. The cross is the place where sins are forgiven. The cross is the place where you can exchange the old for the new. The cross is the place where you can confess without the fear of being criticized or attacked. God can deal with your garbage! He can even recycle some things and restore them to new condition. By the way… the city only sends a truck twice a week but the cross is available 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

Is your life a fragrance or an odor? Maybe you ought to visit a place of worship this weekend and meet Jesus at the cross. The Pastors would love to help you become a sweet smelling aroma.

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