In my last blog post, I wrote about decluttering our homes. I gave some tips and resources, but (as my home can attest) none of it works if it isn’t put into practice. The same applies for matters of a spiritual nature. Though you may have plenty of commentaries, verses memorized, and time spent listening to sermons and special speakers, none of that is helpful if the truths of God’s Word are not put into practice.
That being said, what about things that “clutter” our lives spiritually? Is your mind so occupied with “clutter” that you are missing out on the things God would have occupy that space? Some examples:
- Are you busy worrying about money issues?
- Is your mind plagued with how you will get through your circumstances?
- Do you have a “Martha mentality” that has you focused entirely on service, so that you miss those “Mary moments” with Jesus?
- Is your mind preoccupied with thoughts that are more materialistic, worldly, or even immoral (I think some of our entertainment choices often influence the latter)?
What if we tried some decluttering tips for these spiritual influences? What if we took some of the tips we used for decluttering our homes to declutter our hearts; Christ’s home in our lives?
- Tip 1: Take one “room” at a time.
Take one area of your life at a time, or it may be too overwhelming. To be thorough, it may mean taking one area at a time and dealing with it properly; on your knees and in God’s Word. Then, you can move on to the next area of struggle.
- Tip 2: Sort through your “piles of clutter.” Rule of thumb: “When in doubt, throw it out.”
- *Fearful or anxious about your current circumstances, or those of a loved one? “Give it away.” Give these to God. As Peter tells us, “cast” those cares upon God because He cares for us.
- *Have you over-extended yourself in service (the “Martha mentality”)? If it keeps you from having a meaningful relationship with the Lord, then “drop it.” He will certainly fill that role with another person.
- *Is there something (i.e.: a hobby or activity) that takes needed time away from God or family? Then “throw it out!”
- *Are you working because it is necessary for your family, or are you anxious about finances (or caught up in too much materialism)? If it’s the latter, “throw it out!” Our first priority, after our relationship with God, is our family.
- *Is your mind full of thoughts that are unclean because of your entertainment choices? Then, it’s time to “toss” those choices immediately.
- Tip 3: Organize and Maintain.
- *Keep your heart clean of impure thoughts by considering what you are allowing into it (entertainment choices, for example).
- *Keep a prayer journal and a daily time meant for just you and God. This is great for avoiding the clutter of anxious thoughts, as well as avoiding the “Martha Mentality” and encouraging a “Mary Mentality.”
- *Maintain regular time to spend with your family; they are a gift from God. Material goods could never replace such a gift.
- *Declutter on a regular basis. We all need to “clean house” regularly or that stubborn clutter will find a way to reappear.
I realize that this is a loose comparison of a homemaker’s dilemma with the spiritual struggles of a Believer. Unlike our homes, our spiritual lives involve more serious struggles that, I assume, most Christians face. I hope that my odd comparison is more than just a “cute way” to address spiritual issues. It is my sincere hope that you find it helpful in your daily walk with Christ.