Some time ago our family bought a new stove. The old one was older than my son and was not in the best of shape. When the delivery but brought the new stove, they pushed the old one to a corner of the kitchen. The plan was to get it out as soon as possible. But between various health issues and long, exhausting work schedules, someday got pushed further and further into the future.
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At first, having the stove in the corner was a bit of a bother. It was as unchecked item on our to-do list - someday we would take it down the flight of stairs and put it out with the garbage. Then one day, I ran out of counter space. I moved over to the old stove, because hey, it was a flat surface.
‘This is great.’ I thought. ‘Let’s DIY it and make it over into something functional.’ We started using the old stove as a table top. At the back of our minds, my husband and I both knew that the stove was junk we were holding on to. Fast-forward several months and the old stove sat comfortably in the kitchen where it doubled as a sometimes storage space… until we passed a discarded stove a few houses up –
The old stove had to go. Hubby and I muscled it down the staircase and out to the trash can and that’s when we realized a few things: that old stove was a lot like sin in our lives.
You're wondering, "How's an old stove like, Ami?"
'Why I'm so glad you asked. I'll tell you. '
It may seem like a minor inconvenience. At the beginning, the old stove was something that we blissfully ignored. The new stove was beautiful and we were busy trying to get used to it. We were also marveling at how much more efficient it was than the old one. The old stove sat there ignored because we were caught up with the new thing we had.
It can seem innocuous. When we first put the stove in the corner, it was with the belief that it would be temporary. But after a while, we started working around it. It was like that old stove had always been there and would always be there. Sin does that. At first it may seem harmless, but pretty soon you start making allowances for it. And then, before you know it, it's like you'd always been doing that sinful thing.
It's a bigger burden than you realize. While it sat there, the stove looked flimsy and light. The most challenging thing I thought would be maneuvering the flight of stairs. But let me tell you, that old stove was a lot heavier than it looked. With it, we carry is greater than we realize. While we are in it, we can justify it until it gets narrower in our eyes ... until we forget that sin - all sin - carries a death penalty.
It leaves a lot of mess behind. My old stove left a lot of gunk behind. There was a stove-shaped collection of dirt and grime on our kitchen floor. It stood in strong contrast to the rest of the kitchen. But the thing is, while the stove was there, we didn't realize it. We didn't even think about the fact that the area under the stove would be dirtier than the rest of the apartment.
I had expected it to be cleaner, but no, that wasn't the case. Its a lot of stuff behind too. Sometimes the impact of our sense is not limited to us. It affects people who are close to us. Sometimes, we are left with negative mind-sets and emotions which have to be dealt with afterwards. In all cases, its leaves consequences.
Its absence leaves you with new possibilities. When we finally moved the old stove, we were surprised that the amount of space we had. Our apartment suddenly looked brighter, cleaner, and bigger. Who knew to be able to take up so much space? Sin is like that, isn't it? When you finally accept the freedom that comes from being in Christ, you have so many more possibilities. You feel lighter and excited to walk into your future.
I like to keep my heart "tiled and turned over". This is what I use to remind myself that I need to keep myself free from burdens. That lesson can also apply to this situation. When it comes to clutter, we need to have the mind-set that we shouldn't hold onto things whether it's sin or junk.
When He Was On Earth, He Told His Disciples He had come that they may have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10). Abundant life is not found in holding on to the things of the world. It's not found when we pretend it doesn't exist.
Instead, it's found in the life of Christ and only when we accept Him we truly gain access.
What things are holding on to? Share them in the comments below.
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