It happens every Monday and Thursday at our house… “Honey, take out the garbage!” Garbage cans aren’t pretty. In fact, some of them are just plain gross… they’re smelly… and they even are habitats and incubators for ugly crawling creatures. Garbage cans even attract varmints! In spite of their use, responsible people do their best to keep them reasonably clean and odor-free. But the reality is, we use them for garbage!
They’re not at all like the containers we use to store our food or valuables! We keep those scrupulously clean (after all we’re going to eat the stuff they contain!), or we put things we value in them for safe-keeping because they are important to us!
Garbage or great value… two kinds of containers.
Apostle Paul likened our lives to containers. He said, “Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay. Some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. If anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.” (2 Timothy 2:20-21 ESV)
I’ve got to be honest with you… I’ve seen good containers used for food and valuables, fall into disuse and become garbage containers… I’ve also seen containers cleaned, scrubbed, scoured and disinfected and become containers for valuable things!
I’ve seen that happen to lives! I’ve watched some Individuals that were once mightily used by the Lord for redemptive purposes and holy things, fall into disuse through sin and drift into “garbage living” and dishonorable activities. On the other hand, I’ve seen God clean up sinful lives through repentance, forgiveness and redemption and become useful vessels of righteousness and godly activities.
This passage presents a personal challenge that I want to pursue with all my heart! It says, “If anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the Master!” I’ve got to tell you, I want to do whatever it takes to be that kind of vessel!