How you see yourself determines what you do with all the garbage that comes your way.
2 Corinthians 5:21
While I was a professor at the University of Notre Dame, we lived in a three-bedroom home in downtown South Bend. Our two spare bedrooms served very specific purposes. One was for guests, and the other functioned as my office. We kept the guest room spotless, just in case. We never knew when we might have a last-minute guest. My office, on the other hand, was a complete wreck. Old books, papers, and equipment were strewn across the room. It was difficult to walk around in the room without stepping on trash.
Imagine you’re walking down the hallway of our home. And let’s say you’re looking for a spot to throw something away. Where would you be more likely to toss your garbage? In the guest room? Or in my office? In my office, I suppose. Well, thanks. I appreciate that! No, I can understand why you’d choose my office. It’s already full of trash anyway.
As you reflect on this scenario, let me ask you an important question: Which room are you – the dirty office or the spotless guest room? How do you see yourself? Your answers to these questions determine what you do with garbage that comes your way.
Picture a sinful thought traveling down the hallway of your mind. If you’re the dirty office, then why not just add one more piece of trash to the pile? You’re dirty anyway, so it doesn’t really matter. But if you’re the clean guest room, garbage doesn’t seem to fit there. It’s out of place.
Our standing as completely forgiven, righteous saints is given to us, before heaven, for a reason. It has everything to do with daily living. In the moment we’re offered a sinful thought, how do we perceive ourselves? As dirty or clean? As sinful or righteous? As sinners or saints? If we’re dirty sinners, then why not just place one more sin on the pile? But if our slate has been wiped clean and we’re now righteous like Christ, then sin just doesn’t fit. It’s out of place.