His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.
2 Peter 1:3 (NIV)
Series: “Cleaning House”
Now the moment you’ve been waiting for—(or the one you hoped wouldn’t arrive)—time to kick your clutter to the curb! We couldn’t write a series called, “Cleaning House,” and not dive into this topic head first. For most of us, clearing out the piles of unused or unneeded things is easier said than done. We become attached to our “stuff” and it is hard to let go sometimes. The longer we wait, the higher the pile becomes and the harder it is to get motivated to deal with it.
Would you describe yourself as a collector? A pack-rat? Emotionally attached? Clutter doesn’t happen overnight. It creeps up on us and makes our house it’s home. Clutter puts our mind into overdrive, causing our senses to focus on what isn’t important. It tells us our work is never done. When items cause our home to feel chaotic, or crowded, they cause more harm than good.
Why should we care about our growing mounds of fluffy blankets and overflowing kitchen cabinets? Will this clutter affect our health and well being? I say yes to this one. The tension and heavy burden I have felt because I cannot find something important in the moment. The times I have bought something twice, forgetting I have one already. This list could go on. These feelings of angst, impatience, and disappointment in myself come to the front of my mind when my home is in this state. But, constantly thinking about these piles and reconfiguring them hinders my time with Jesus. It keeps me from serving Him fully.
Don’t take my word for it, let’s turn to Jesus when He shared a parable in Mark 10:17-22:
As Jesus was starting out on his way to Jerusalem, a man came running up to him, knelt down, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good. But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. You must not cheat anyone. Honor your father and mother.’ ” “Teacher,” the man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.” Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” At this the man’s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
We learn a lot from this parable, but today, let’s focus on the last verse. The man went away sad because he had many possessions and Jesus was asking him to let them go. Like us, he had a hard time giving up what he thought he needed. Don’t we do this with our things as well? Living with too many possessions affects our ability to focus on our relationship with Jesus—just as it did for this young man. Spending much of our day moving piles from here-to-there, reorganizing closets and drawers, making room for new purchases, leaves little time for activities that help us grow closer to Christ. If our mind is running in two directions, we need to find a solution, not an excuse.
Tending to the home we live in, providing a clean and inviting space for company and family to enjoy, is important. When we are consumed with where we can put the next coffee mug or knick-knack in our already full space, our soul ends up depleted. Let’s ask ourselves what it is about our hearts that makes us want to hold on to things so tightly that fade away, break, or wear out. The problem with clutter isn’t always the physical item. It is how that item becomes a stumbling block for your spiritual home to flourish. Are you too comfortable in your clutter? Has it become a safe place for you? What if you had everything to gain by letting go?
This quote by Jim Elliot encourages us to cling to the things that are eternal so we don’t miss the joy God has for us while we wait to meet with Him in Heaven:
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scriptures: 2 Peter 1:3; Mark 10:17-22; Matthew 6:19; Luke 12:33