“A $.10 piece of paper can ruin a $100,000 car.”
-Kyle Petty, prior to today’s NASCAR race

How so? It begins in the stands. A hot dog wrapper floats from the stands to the track, becomes attached to the front grill of the car, cutting off the air flow to the engine, causing it to overheat, and eventually blowing it up if the debris isn’t removed in a timely fashion.

Kyle’s statement today reminded me of Apostle Paul’s M.O. when it comes to removing debris–from the soul, that is.

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen…Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:29, 31-32

NASCAR drivers have no control over what debris floats their way, but Paul leaves little doubt that we as Christ-followers certainly do. It’s a choice we make–choosing either to get rid of the destructive debris or to baby them, nursing our favorites for all they’re worth. I’m all too aware of the fact that unwholesome talk, bitterness, anger, and slander will quickly obstruct the flow of God’s Spirit–power and presence–through my life. Maybe you are too?

If so, it comes as no surprise that ridding ourselves of the spiritual debris that’s been allowed to litter our souls is anything but easy (or painless), but it is certainly possible, or else God would not require us to be the ones taking action. Choosing to ignore this Spirit-driven opportunity quickly becomes more costly than ever imagined as spiritual debris rarely remains adhered to our soul alone. It damages our families, our God-given sphere of influence, and eventually the Bride of Christ. No wonder Paul was so adamant in his plea to Christ followers.

“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30

Spiritual debris frequently “floats” through our days in the form of hurt feelings, rejection, pride, self-righteousness (and countless other ways) — in search of finding a place of adherence.

Which will it be? A litter-free soul, or one littered with spiritual debris?

The choice is ours.

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