Last night Big Daddy and I grabbed a coffee and a hot chocolate then headed out to look at the Christmas lights here in Chattanooga. We drove over to a very small, hidden neighborhood called Shepherd Hills on the east side of Missionary Ridge. If you drive a little past that neighborhood, you can park at an overlook and enjoy a breathtaking view of the entire city. The homes in Shepherd Hills are beautiful and very Southern. Some are very grand with white columns and large porches, while others are small and look like they are from the pages of a fairy tale. They were all bathed in Christmas lights, wreaths, and a few had beautiful Nativity scenes. As we drove down each street, I noticed just how perfect and tidy this little neighborhood seemed, that it is a place where anyone would want to live. A lot of times things and even people do look like perfection to us on the outside, but on the inside it’s not necessarily that way.
This morning on the way to church, I was looking at the houses along the way and thinking that in a little over a week the pretty lights and decorations would be overshadowed by mounds of boxes and wrapping paper sitting out on the curb. Everyone’s trash will be on display for all who pass by to see. Even that pretty little neighborhood we drove through last night will have a trashy kind of look because no matter how things appear on the outside, we all have a little or a lot of trash on the inside. We have to put it out somewhere because if we don’t, we have a mess and it can attract some unwanted pests into our home.
Our body is the home for our soul. We can take care of that home and put out the “trash,” or we can decide to keep all of our “trash” inside. I have met some beautiful people in this world, so beautiful on the outside that they can take a person’s breath away. So beautiful that people envy them and would give anything to be as pretty or to live their life. However, on the inside they are full of “trash.” They refuse to rid themselves of pride, jealousy, hate, envy, and greed. After a while Satan takes over, the “trash” piles up, overshadows their outer beauty, and all who pass will see.
So how do we rid ourselves of this inner garbage? First, ask Jesus Christ into your heart. From then on whenever you feel some “trash” piling up inside, gather it up with prayer and just ask Him to take it to the curb and He will. All who pass by will no longer see the pile of garbage overshadowing your life, but instead will witness your light shining bright because of what Christ has done for you. Tidy me up and take it to the curb, Jesus.
7 But if we are living in the light of God’s presence, just as Christ does, then we have wonderful fellowship and joy with each other, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from every sin.—1 John 1:7
A sweet home in Shepherd Hills