When to Throw It Away

Leftovers | Devotion #6: When to Throw It Away
Kyle Wendel | Children & Student’s Director

What do you do with leftover food that you have? Do you throw it out or store it in the fridge? Do you do any meal preparations? Do you have it for lunch the next day? Does it sit in your fridge for weeks until you notice a rotten smell when you open your fridge? There are some things that take a long time to go bad, and there are things that go bad quickly. Have you ever had leftover fast food? What is wrong with you?! Fast food goes bad like five minutes after you order it. Do not get me wrong, I love a good trip to Taco Bell, but it is never good as leftovers. 

I have never been someone who is into leftovers at all. Once I eat a meal, I am done with it. By the time the next day rolls around for leftovers, that meal no longer sounds appealing to me. We could have some leftover chicken and my mind will always go to, “Pizza sounds really good right now.” Does a new meal just sound so much better? My wife hates this about me. She is the kind of person who wastes no food. If there are leftovers, we are eating all of them. Over the past couple years my wife has opened my eyes to leftovers and how they can actually be pretty good and a way to save money and eat healthier. The Lord knows I need her in my life, even for the small things. I may not get all the pizza I want, but it is better for me in the long run. 

The real question is for how long are leftovers good? I know I have toed the line a few times on how close something is to going bad. You almost always can rely on the smell test. If it smells rotten, do not touch it! Throw it away and be done with it. We need to look at our lives in this perspective sometimes. How often do we allow leftovers in our lives to turn bad before we take care of them?

Bad leftovers can be a multitude of things. It can be old baggage we carry, old relationships that bring us down, bitterness, jealousy, sin in our lives, anger, old ways, and a host of other poor choices. We let these things begin to stink in our lives. We leave these leftovers in our lives, and we do not take care of them. We let them sit in our hearts, and we begin to rot because of them. With leftovers, once one thing begins to rot, the whole meal is gone. You must throw it out once it is spoiled. 

Ephesians 4:31-32 says, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” We need to examine our lives and see what has gone bad in our hearts and lives. Are we holding on to sin and allowing bitterness to destroy us? We must throw it in the trash today. Do not let sin take root in your heart and begin to spoil everything in your life. Throw out the garbage that is in you. Only keep what is still good. That good is the goodness from Jesus. We need to learn when to throw out the bad leftovers in our lives. Jesus shows us how to do that very thing. I love how Ephesians 4:31-32 shows to throw out the junk and to put on Jesus. Put on the love that Jesus has shown. Put on the forgiveness that Jesus so graciously gives. How can we hold on to such things when Jesus has forgiven us of all sin if we believe and trust in His sacrifice?

What are some leftovers that have spoiled in your life? 

What are you going to do to throw them out today?

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