Empty the Trash

A couple of months ago I was working on my computer when I got an alert saying that there was a system update available. When I clicked to begin the update, I got an error message stating that there was not enough memory available to continue the update.

I am usually someone that is one step behind on the technology guru scale, however, I did know how to check to see what was taking up so much of my computer’s memory.  I had approximately eight gigabytes of memory available on the computer. My first solution for cleaning up space was to empty the trash bin. I thought it was a good place to start since the items were already deemed unnecessary.

Once the bin was empty the memory increased to about 20 gigabytes of free space. What!?!? 12 gigabytes was trash!?!? That means that there were about 12 gigabytes worth of discarded material lingering on the computer, things that were no longer of value to me. Any computer that I had in the past automatically discarded the trash bin every 30 days. That’s when I noticed that the option to empty the trash every 30 days was turned off. The computer is not new and assuming the trash has never been emptied, that means that it was hanging on to about 5 years worth of information that I, the computer’s master, had determined was unimportant.

When is the last time that you emptied your mental clutter? Can you imagine what it is like for humans when we live day after day, month after month, even year after year without discarding the trash in our own memories? I know that as humans we experience circumstances or indulge in things that result in our minds and hearts feeling like a pile of rubble.

What is filling your mental bin? Maybe you are currently filling your mind with the junk of this world. Maybe past experiences, that were a direct result of your own decisions, are condemning you. Maybe something happened to you that was beyond your control and you are tormented by the memory. Whatever the clutter, take some time to assess and empty anything that is unnecessary to carry with you through this year.

If you are filling your mind with worldly affairs, make a change. Take care in what you are putting before your eyes. Make sure that you are not indulging in earthly lusts. Be cautious with what you are reading. Take a break from the various media outlets, including news and social media. Sometimes we get caught up in the drama of the news, politics, and social media and it clutters our thinking with rubbish. I challenge you to take a break and see how much mental space becomes vacant for more productive things. It may even help your cardiovascular health as an added bonus. Instead of partaking in these types of things, you can spend more time in the Bible, read an inspirational book or blog, or listen to a good podcast. These are just a few ideas of how you can occupy your mind with Godly and/or positive resources.

Be careful what you listen to as well. Certain types of music can impact your mood in a negative way. We should also be cautious of gossip that we hear. I know if I hear something negative about a person, it tends to weigh me down. Professionally, I am able to remain neutral, but for some reason when I hear something personally, I usually have a response. Sometimes the response is internalized. That is what makes me feel burdened down. When you start to listen to something that may impose a negative reaction, think about how it will put your mind in disarray.

Psalm 51:10-12 ESV

“Hide your face from my sins,  and blot out all my iniquities.  Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.”

Philippians 4:8 ESV

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

If your conscience is full of the condemnation from your past decisions, make a new decision to move forward. No more looking to past regrets. Look to the future and how you can make better choices that result in positive outcomes.

Romans 8:1 ESV

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Romans 12:2 ESV

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

If you had a past experience that was beyond your control and you fell victim to the circumstance, seek out the healer of broken memories. The crisis that your heart experienced may have left you broken and feeling like your life is destroyed. Determine that you will seek help from God, a pastor, a counselor, and/or a friend. Allow them to help you reduce the debris that is covering your life.  Move ahead to a brighter future and don’t allow the broken pieces to ruin your life.

Isaiah 43:16-17a ESV

“Remember not the former things,  nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?”

Colossians 3:2 ESV

“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”

Don’t let your life be labeled as ruins. Allow your heart to be emptied out to God. Allow the master of your memories to empty out the “trash” that is littering your mind. Unlike a computer, we cannot set our minds to auto empty the bin every certain number of days. We must manually go in and clean up. We can do this through prayer and meditating on the goodness of God. Once you have decluttered, take intentional notice of how much better you function. I guarantee that you, just like my computer, will operate at a higher standard.  So, if you are feeling bogged down because your mental or spiritual bin is full of negativity, throw it away. Don’t just put it in the bin where it is out of sight and out of mind, take the extra step this year and empty the trash!


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