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Edgefield County, South Carolina

May 11, 2005

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Spiritual Privacy and the Color of Our Trash Bags

By: Dr. Skip Myers
Edgefielddaily.com columnist
web posted May 11, 2005

Shh! We’re not supposed to know anything about anyone anymore. And if we do, we had better choose to keep it to ourselves. The privacy police are everywhere. They are on the numerous documents you sign each time you go to your doctor and your pharmacy. The courts are filled with suits over supposed violations of personal privacy.

I found a website that discussed the issue of personal garbage privacy. They even suggested that our desire to keep our garbage private is proven by the fact that most of the trash bags we buy are dark colored. Therefore, proving our desire to keep our garbage a private, personal matter. I wish the dogs in my neighborhood would see my garbage as a private matter. Then they just might leave it alone. Each week I find my “private garbage” scattered all over the place. I wonder if you can sue a dog?

Now don’t misunderstand what I am trying to say. Everyone has a right to personal privacy. I don’t want my cholesterol numbers published in the newspaper. I do wish the press would stop hounding famous people and their families just to make a dollar. I do not have the right to know what Barry Bonds eats for breakfast. But I do have the right to know when there is a terrorist threat to our national safety. So, how do we balance the two?

I am glad I don’t have the daunting task of trying to find the proper balance regarding privacy in our society. When you think about it, privacy is never an issue where God is concerned. He knows it all; every little minute detail of our lives past, present, and future. Matthew 10:30 puts it this way, “But the very hairs on you head are numbered.” God knows the very decreasing number of hairs on my head.

For some, such knowledge may be an invasion of their supposed privacy. But for those who know the love of God in their lives, such knowledge is nothing more than continued proof of God’s intimacy with us. God’s perfect knowledge of our lives is just another way for Him to prove His love for us. In order for the Lord to give us His perfect will, He must know those things in our lives that need to be adjusted so that we can accept this priceless gift. Think about the fact that God knows you that well and still loves you and desires a personal relationship with you. Now that type of love can be trusted!

The only time God’s knowledge of my life bothers me is when there is garbage I am trying to hide in the dark colored bags. You know what I am talking about. The stuff we don’t want anyone to know about because it is embarrassing. It’s the garbage we let pile up in our lives and try to keep hidden. The problem with stockpiling garbage is that no matter how well you bag it up, it will eventually begin to emit a noticeable odor.

We cannot keep smelly garbage a secret from an All-knowing God. And eventually, the smell will be noticed by others. The Bible tells us in Galatians 5:19 that the “deeds of the flesh are evident.” No matter how hard we try to make them a matter of personal privacy, garbage will eventually come out in our lives somehow. That’s why the Lord pokes around in our garbage. That’s why He takes a bag rips it open and pours it out before us. He wants us to be aware of what is in our lives that has the potential to hurt the child He loves so much. Exposing the sin in our lives is not His exercise in condemnation but rather, it is the supreme proof of His love.

Rest assured that the Lord can handle our garbage. After all, He already knows about it. You can’t surprise Him. So why not let Him guide you in getting rid of those bags you think you have hidden. Let Him help you take them to the street. They will be picked up and carried off by the cross.  Invite Him to do what Psalms 139:23-24 instructs: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there is any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way. Remember, God knows us completely and loves us perfectly.

Dr. Myers is Pastor of Smiths Station Baptist Church, Smiths Station Alabama and a former Youth Minister of Sweetwater Baptist Church (1981-1986)
Contact Dr. Myers: E-mail

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