Sometimes letting go of things is so very hard to do. Clearing out the clutter in our homes is difficult. In the weeks of preparing for my move, I was amazed at all the stuff that I had collected or misplaced over the years!
In my mind those items were very important to me….photos of dear friends and family, souvenirs from trips I’ve taken, keepsakes, awards from previous jobs, handyman tools and even books I have not gotten around to reading. I even found the misplaced remote to my DVD player! Not having these things in order or knowing where they were made it harder for me to accomplish certain things around the house.
I know this seems normal but it got me to thinking about the clutter in our spiritual lives. It can be difficult for us to grow as a Christians the way Christ intended if we continue allowing certain things to “clutter” our lives.
I want to share 4 complex choices that can cause clutter in our lives and that we sometimes may or may not even realize how they affect our relationship with God.
When God created us He gave us the ability to make choices. He does not want just a bunch of robots. However, sometimes the choices we make can draw us away from Him.
It may be for years, months, weeks, days, or even just a few hours. The choices we make have an impact on our relationship with Christ. We need to include Him in every decision we make. Otherwise, spiritual clutter can unknowingly invade our mind, body, and soul.
We have all heard the saying or maybe even said it ourselves. “I have too much on my plate! “ Whether we feel like we have no one to help us, we want it done right so we do it ourselves, or maybe we just have a hard time saying “no”.
Whatever the reason, God’s desire is not for us to be overworked, over stressed, and overwhelmed. He wants us to have peace. The kind of peace that only He offers to those that believe in Him. (Philippians 4:7)
We must learn to ask for help and if we feel there is no one, go to God and seek His direction.
Hmmm… whether it is a spouse, relative, or a friend; we need to be sure that those with whom we associate with do not become “spiritual clutter”.
Are you encouraged in Christ when you spend time with them? Are you are left feeling drained? Do those that are closest to you love the Lord? Is God glorified in the relationship? These are questions we need to ask ourselves in regards to our companions.
Here are a few things that SHOULD occur in a good relationship. There is accountability with kindness.
We are encouraged, motivated, comforted, and energized. We are patient with each other. There is forgiveness when mistakes take place. We accept one another unconditionally..
1 Thessalonians 5:11. “Therefore encourage one another and build up one another…”
This has been a difficult one for me. There is no such thing as being a “little dead” or a “little pregnant” either you are or you are not. We need to realize that compromising is a close personal friend of rationalizing.
We rationalize in our minds convincing ourselves that it’s not that bad or it’s just a little this or a little that.
Galatians 5:9 reads, “a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough.”
This is in reference to the small amount of yeast that causes the dough to rise.
In regards to Compromise…let me ask you a couple questions. Is an apple still desirable if there is a little worm inside? Or how about this, will you consume that steaming bowl of soup while a “little” bitty fly is doing the backstroke in there? A little bit of sin is still sin.
James 4:17. “Therefore to the one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.”
When we make compromises, we open the door for that “little” bit of sin to grow into a large amount of spiritual clutter. This damages the development of our relationship with Him. It may delay the spiritual blessing God wants to bestow on us. Sometimes God may have to remove certain things from our lives because we are unwilling to do it ourselves.
I believe this is where the “clutter” can overwhelm us. It is a good thing to show concern for others, for our health, and especially loved ones. However, when that concern leads us to worrying too much it clutters our mind while weakening our faith.
I want to share a couple of verses where in one instruction is given about worrying and the other reminds us what we need to concern ourselves with.
“Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God” Philippians 4:6, 8
“Finally brethren whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, think on these things.”
I do not see anything there about worrying until you feel sick or can’t sleep at night. Worry can also affect our health, lead to unnecessary stress while taking our focus off God. Worrying adds more clutter to our lives.
In the past, I believe God has removed large amounts of “clutter” from my life because I was unwilling to do it myself. Whether it was an unhealthy relationship, a particular habit or activity; those things needed to go if I was going to serve Him completely.
From my experience it is much less painful when we recognize the “clutter” in our lives and make the necessary changes to remove it or ourselves from the situation that is causing the spiritual clutter.
My prayer is that this is a reminder how easily it is to allow clutter in our lives to adversely impact our testimony and relationship with Christ. As the leaves begin to turn and we move towards a new season; maybe it’s time to do some spiritual housecleaning and clear out the clutter in our lives …before God has to!
Food for Thought
How do you handle the clutter in you mind and heart?
Horace Williams Jr is the oldest son of a pastor who went to be with Jesus in 2020. He is an award-winning author and amateur chef who loves Jesus Christ. His passion for Christ inspires readers to draw nearer to the God who loves them.