In learning to be the best you that you can be, we have to get rid of all the junk in our lives. It’s the same principle we use when our house is getting too cluttered and so full of “stuff” we can’t keep it clean. We will stack it and re-stack it, move it from one room to another, but, the fact remains that it is still hanging around! No matter where we move it, or restack and reshuffle to change it’s appearance, it is still there. It's looming over our sense of order, our sense of control and self-discipline. So, what do we do? We’ve learned that trying to relocate the little beasts of clutter doesn’t change anything. Sure, it may produce a short-lived physical change, but, we know it is still there, lurking, waiting for us to move some other object and uncover it once again!
So, we decide to face reality, and make plans to get rid of the junk. How do we do this? We trash it! Is it easy? No. Is it time consuming? Yes! But, we realize it is a matter of necessity. It's kind of like shaving your legs. You can only put it off for so long, until it begins to haunt you. We’ve all done it. You put it off, and put it off until you notice these wiry, unattractive, spiky whisker-looking things poking through your panty hose in the mornings as you are rushing out the door to go to work. You can’t lay comfortably with your legs together while you are sleeping, due to the incessant feeling of acupuncture on your legs! You get into a nice hot tub at the end of the day, just wanting to relax, and there they are... They stare at you, daring you to put forth the effort to remove them from your body. You look at your legs, lean your head back, and sigh, “I’ll do it tomorrow,” you tell yourself. I’ll wear slacks, again!
We handle our physical “stubble” the same way. We put it off and put it off, until some event, (like having to go somewhere wearing short pants or the “unexplained” blood from scratches on our husband’s legs!) requires - no demands - that we make a change! It is so horrible that we don’t even enjoy coming home. So, we sigh heavily, look around to size up the job before us, roll up our sleeves, and dive in! We sort, arrange, organize, stack, prioritize, moving our prized “stuff” from one stack to another, on and on, until we realize that it is junk, and it has to go!
We pull the trash can over close, hoping it’s prepared for the weight that is fixing to be thrown into it’s waiting arms. As we begin to clear away the clutter, discarding it, never to take up space in our home again, an amazing thing begins to happen. We begin to feel productive. A sense of accomplishment, along with the joy of self-discipline, begins to fill the empty spaces that our “junk” previously occupied. We work and work until all the clutter has been cleared, one stack at a time, one room at a time. Our house is clean!! It has taken numerous trips to the dump ground, but you can now look proudly at your home. It's a place you can enjoy living in again, and are proud to call home! We then make a solemn vow to never let so much junk collect in our home again. But, if it does, we find grace and mercy in the trash can, ready to rid our home of it’s clutter at a moments notice.
Our spiritual house is much the same. There may be times when it gets so cluttered with spiritual junk that we can hardly wade through the day. We stack emotions, hurts, unhealthy desires and unforgiveness in little piles by pushing them way down deep into our soul, smashing and cramming them down, pushing them to the farthest depths of our minds.
At first, like in our physical home, it is okay, and not that noticeable. We “walk around” the piles by avoiding them, refusing to think about them, or deal with them. But, eventually, they surface. The different piles nag at you continually, demanding your attention. You do give attention - by exploding in an angry rage, spouting off the first words that come to your mind, lashing out and being short with those you love the most, hurling hurtful words that no amount of apologizing can take back. Then, you slip into a deep sense of regret. The piles of “spiritual stuff” have stacked up and piled up until your emotions are tripping over them.
You go to bed physically and emotionally exhausted, fall into bed, and say to yourself, “I’ll do it tomorrow.” But, tomorrow comes, and that same emotional “stubble” is poking it’s ugly head out, screaming at you to be dealt with! How do you deal with it? Yes, you do have a spiritual trash can, only it is in the shape of a cross. A cross that is ready to accept all of your “trash”, asking for no explanations, making no judgments. The cross is there, with it’s horizontal beam representing the outstretched arms of our Lord and Savior, waiting for you to throw all of your “junk” his direction. We find spiritual grace and mercy here!
Take off the “old you” like you would take off dirty, nasty, torn clothes. You must throw it away, never to put it on again! Do your spiritual house cleaning, dragging out and dealing with all of the “spiritual clutter” that you have shoved down so deeply for so very long. Like clutter in your house, it will not go away by itself. You must deal with it, one issue at a time. Take it out, expose it, and rid yourself of it by nailing it to the cross. Use your spiritual trash can.
In Jeremiah 31:34 our Lord says that He will forgive all of our wickedness, and remember our sins no more. If God is willing to forgive and forget, are we belittling His power and authority when we refuse to let Him have those sins? Do we do this when we try to hang on to them and deal with them ourselves?
In I John 2:1, we are told that the Word is written to us that we might not sin, but, if we do, we have Jesus Christ who will personally speak to God on our behalf. Ladies, Jesus died on the cross to be our spiritual “dump ground”. He wants it all! Jesus Christ died for us so that we could live (I Thessalonians 5:10-11), and not just live a ho-hum life - live a life full of joy, hope and anticipation! Life in Christ is a joyous gift!
Pray this prayer today: Father God, Reveal to me the spiritual clutter and the spiritual stubble in my life. Give me the strength, determination, discipline and wisdom to rid it from my life, turning it over to Jesus, and never looking back at it again. Father God, create in me a freshness, and a hunger to live for you, and you alone, each and every day. In Your Precious Son’s Name, Amen.