Spring Cleaning with Jesus

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We just got back from a spring break trip to the beach. We rented a condo that looked over the water…amazing view! It was cold all week so some of our plans needed to be adjusted, but we had a wonderful time relaxing, being together and taking a break from real life. Every one of us overslept this morning trying to get back to Monday morning real-life!

The condo we had was just right. Two bedrooms, a living room, kitchen, laundry room and big balcony overlooking the Gulf. Every time we take a vacation like this I’m struck with how easy it is to live in a small space. The unit had everything we needed, but nothing we didn’t. Laundry was quick and easy. Dishes got done in a flash. Picking up the whole place took a fraction of the time it does at home.

I always come home from vacations like this thinking we need less stuff. We need to clean out. We don’t need so many mementos, clothes, closets full of I-don’t-even-know-what. I long for the simpler existence of the condo. I feel the heaviness of owning too much stuff.

But what I have forgotten is that life is more complicated than a vacation condo. We didn’t get mail on vacation. We didn’t need to collect tax documents at the condo. I wasn’t responsible for taking care and treasuring heirlooms at the condo. We weren’t hosting guests at the condo. Some of these things require more “stuff.”

So my instinct to sell everything and go live at the beach is unrealistic. But maybe it can move me into thinking differently about my possessions.

The Bible has a lot to say about possessions:

  • Be willing to let possessions all go for the sake of Christ. See Matthew 19:21.
  • Be generous and hospitable with possessions. See I John 3:17.
  • Don’t treasure or idolize possessions. See Matthew 6:19.
  • Pursue heart growth, not more and more possessions. See I Timothy 6:11.
  • Don’t put your hope in possessions, but in Christ. See I Timothy 6:14.
  • Don’t find your self-worth in possessions, but in Christ. See Luke 12:15.

I will use these truths to guide my decisions about decluttering my house. These truths will lead me to think about each item differently. I am going to start asking some challenging questions.

1.      Do I care too much about this? Am I treasuring it more than my spiritual growth?

2.      Does this help me be hospitable in my home?

3.      Is God calling me to be generous with this item and give it away?

4.      Does this item keep me from growing closer to God?

5.      Am I relying on this item for security?

6.      Am I relying on this item to make me look good to others?

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That’s a different way for me to sort. So as I tackle some overflowing closets this spring, I’ll be asking new questions about our stuff and inviting Christ along to help me think biblically about it all.

 

Make this a devotion:

1.      Look up and write out all the scriptures mentioned.

2.      Pick one room in your house to consider. Ask God to guide your thinking.

3.      Answer the six questions about the items in that room honestly and slowly.

4.      Prayerfully commit to act on (keep or get rid of) the items in that room.

 

What else? What do you consider when decluttering?

 

 

Kathy EricksonComment