This past Saturday morning when I woke up I checked my email as I do most Saturdays. I received an email from a person who lives in the neighborhood just north of the school I work at. The note asked why we didn’t take more pride in our school’s appearance. He stated that he walks daily along 7th Avenue and there is a lot of garbage that blows onto our grass, landscaping and retention area and we should do a better job of keeping it cleaned up.
My first reaction was, really, this is what I get to wake up to on Saturday morning? Then I instantly went into defensive mode. Doesn’t he see how much we have improved our campus over the last five years? Plus, it isn’t even our garbage! It blows from across the street or off the street onto our property and now I have a complaint about us not cleaning up other people’s trash.
Then I realized how I so clearly displayed the attitude one often takes when confronted with one's own sin. “It’s not my fault. I am better than the other person. Well if that person hadn’t provoked me I wouldn’t have reacted like that; they had it coming. It’s not my problem.”
I am glad I didn’t respond to the email in that moment of frustration. After telling myself to calm down about it, I could look a little more clearly at what he was saying. Whether we like it or not, sometimes we have trash in our front yard. We have to deal with it. The way I dealt with this on Saturday was, along with help of another person, to pick up all the trash along 7th Avenue.
As far as the sin we have to deal with, God gives us clear direction on how to deal with that. 1 John 1:8 tells us, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
It’s hard to hear that we are wrong. Our reaction is often to be defensive; at least I know my reaction can be that way. Thankfully God gives us a very clear path and as we confess what we did wrong, He cleans up the trash for us and takes all those sins away.
We have an amazing God who loves us and makes things clean.
Bob Koehne, husband to Mia, is an educator, coach, mentor and administrator with a love for Jesus and a passion to see lives impacted for Christ through Christian education. These are just some of his writings.
Copyright Mia Koehne Music LLC © 2015