We have a tendency to be filled with things that are negative. Worry, doubt, bitterness, hatred, contempt, resentment, and anger are just a few such things. The problem is that when we are filled with things that are bad, there is no room for the good, because our hearts are like containers. Their capacity to store things is limited.
Let us do a quick introspection and see what is stored in our hearts. Does it contain envy about something our neighbor possesses? Is there bitterness about some offense someone has caused us? Is there doubt because a prayer has not been answered? Is there fear because of a failure? Is there anger because we have found ourself in the wilderness? Is there frustration because we seem stuck in it?
If we are filled with so much of negativity, is it really surprising that we are so miserable? So, what we need to do is to exchange these “bad” things that we store in our hearts for things that are “good”. For instance, if we are filled with bitterness because of something someone has done, we need to push the resentment out and let the peace in.
The prophet Isaiah said that God wants to bestow upon us a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of despair (see Isaiah 61:3). But notice how everything is a trade-in, an exchange. We trade in the ashes for beauty, the mourning for joy, the despair for praise.
I have worked out a practical way of getting rid of all the unwanted stuff. Every night I dump the trash that has accumulated in the house into the garbage bin. Before I sleep I do the same thing with the garbage that has accumulated in my soul. When I wake up the next morning, I feel like new. Of course, there is always going to be new trash the soul collects during the day, but at least there isn’t an accumulation of garbage from the day before, much less the month or year before!
So, if you carry a lot of negativity inside you, spend a few days getting rid of it. Forgive those who have hurt you. Release the hatred you have bottled up inside you. Get rid of your doubts. Shed your timidity. Dispel the fears caused by past failures. And see how God replaces them with the good things he wants you to have: peace, love, faith, courage, confidence.
After this, just throw out the trash daily
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