Recently, my family and I moved into a new home. When we moved into the house, the previous owners had left a large quantity of paint, gasoline and spray cans along with large plastic bottles of chemicals and pesticides in our garage. All these items were considered toxic. We knew the garbage truck would not take most of those items because they were considered toxic waste.
However, I must confess, I tried to sneak a few paint cans that had dried up into a plastic bag hoping they wouldn’t notice. To my surprise, not only did they notice, they left me a long, detailed note on my front door stating that toxic waste had to be handled differently and it needed to be disposed in a certain way and at a different location. If toxic waste has to be handled with such caution, how much more should we deal with toxic issues that can contaminate and pollute our lives?
When we hear of the word “detox,” we usually associate it with our “body.” We picture someone detoxing from a habit-forming drug or alcohol. However, most people fail to realize that as humans we are made up of three parts: We all have a spirit, soul and body.
The definition of the word detox simply means the removal of toxic substances from a living organism. From time to time, we need to “detox” or “cleanse” ourselves from things that are harmful to our spirit, soul and body. How do we detox ourselves in these three important areas? Let’s start with our spirit.
When you think about the spiritual side of our lives, there are a couple things to rid ourselves of that can be very destructive to our spirit.
- Doubt – What is it that we are placing our trust and security in? The temporal things of life can always let us down and cause us to doubt what really matters.
- Negativity – The late Zig Ziglar once said, “You are what you are and who you are because of what has gone into your mind. You can change what you are and change who you are by changing what goes into your mind.” Stink’n think’n can pollute our spirit and cause us to have self-doubt.
How do we detox our spirit? We have to starve ourselves from doubt and negativity and feed ourselves with faith and hope. Find things that can feed your spirit like prayer, meditation, and reading faith-filled books or devotionals that feed your faith and lift your spirit.
When our spirit becomes toxic, it can contaminate our soul. How? With our negative thoughts. Our thoughts (beliefs) influence how we feel (emotions). Do you have toxic thoughts that are controlling how you feel? Here are a few things we should consider in detoxing our souls (emotions).
- Unforgiveness – Are you holding on to hurts that have turned into resentment? I heard someone once say that harboring unforgiveness is like setting yourself on fire and hoping the other person dies of smoke inhalation.
- Comparison – We live in the world of Instagram and Facebook. If we’re not careful, we can compare ourselves with someone else’s “highlight reel.” It’s unfair to compare. Don’t compare your worth and identify to someone else’s. It can become toxic and have a negative effect on your emotions.
- Anger – All anger can be summarized into this statement: “I want something, and I can’t get it.” When something or someone gets in the way of what we want or what we think we deserve, the outcome is frustration and anger. These emotions can be extremely toxic.
- Worry – Faith and fear have one thing in common: they both believe in a future that hasn’t happened yet. Worry is assuming a responsibility you were never designed to carry. Rid yourself from worry and choose to believe the best is still in front of you, not behind you.
Stress, bad eating habits, and a lack of exercise can certainly affect our bodies in a negative way. However, nothing is more damaging to our physical bodies than the addictions (chemical dependencies) to foreign toxins that our bodies were never intended to ingest or be exposed to.
When we get our spirit and soul right, we will be far more motivated to take care of our bodies so that all three of these important areas of our lives are in harmony and in alignment with each other.
What steps do you need to take to rid yourself from the negative hurts, habits, and hang-ups that are contaminating your life? Perhaps it’s time to detox some areas of your life so you can live the life of freedom and purpose you were meant to live.
Rodney Gage is an author, speaker and the founding pastor of ReThink Life Church. His passion is to help people live life on purpose. To learn more, check out rethinklife.com.