By Angela Craig

One Sunday on the way to church, the back of our truck was filled with the garbage generated from our bathroom remodel. Our garbage cans and recycle at home were overflowing, so it was my job after church to find an alternative place for the rubbish…someplace like the dump.

But as I pulled into the church parking lot through the back entrance, embarrassed by the sight of my dumpster vehicle, this thought came to my mind.

How many times do we come to church hauling a dumpster full of garbage?

Metaphorically speaking, that is. A dumpster filled with marital problems, struggling teens, depression, addiction, employment issues, budget stress, anxiety, aging parent responsibilities…

We can be so embarrassed by the list of items in our dumpster that we arrive at church (or work, or any other event), take a look in the mirror to make sure the dark circles aren’t revealing too much of the story, put a smile on our face and hip-bump the door on our way out to make sure all the garbage stays in. Why do we fact it? The reason: Christians are supposed to have it all together. We think to ourselves, “I must be the only one whose life feels out of control.”

Things that are kept hidden are open doors for Satan to intimidate, isolate, and keep us from relationship from Jesus and community.

Here are 3 Reasons to dump the garbage:

1) Garbage impairs vision. Garbage cripples your view of yourself, others and God.

2) Garbage makes for a stinky attitude. Doubt, un-trust, pride, bitterness, anger, unforgiveness, desire for revenge, judging and criticizing others, are all attributes of a stinky attitude.

3) Garbage creates a claustrophobic environment. The garbage creates a feeling of shut in places that makes a person want to escape. The clutter and confusion can block a person’s ability to think or process information outside of an emotional response and can lead down a dangerous road of escapism into food, alcohol, pornography, dangerous relationships, self-neglect, drugs, and abuse.

How to dump the garbage:

1) James 5:16-17 tells us how: “Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with.”

Notice, scripture does not say to tell everyone on Facebook, demean another person’s character, or become a victim who is always complaining and never healed. It says to confide in someone trustworthy and filled with Jesus. Then you can dump your garbage where it belongs and move into the saving and grace filled arms of Jesus who is waiting to give you wholeness and healing.

Angela Craig lives in Western Washington with her husband, Mark, and their two sons. She is the Director of the Women’s Department at the Northwest Ministry Network. Angela is passionate about helping people discover not only whose they are, but who they are, in her role as a Gallup Strengthsfinder Coach.

Angela has a and a Bachelor’s degree in Ministry Leadership from Northwest University and Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga and is an Ordained Minister with the Assemblies of God. She is available to teach at conferences, retreats, and leadership training events. Get to know Angela at her blog angelalcraig.com.