“People and stuff are not the same. And memories and stuff are not the same.”
Our homes and lives are overflowing with flower pots, old letters from high school, shirts we might eventually wear again, and fear of losing it all.
Ruth Soukup issues a wake-up call – we don’t need to hang on to things if we don’t plan to use them. Guilt is a very bad house guest.
“We don’t want to be wasteful. We don’t want to waste money. We don’t want to hurt somebody if it was a gift. Sometimes there’s guilt because it’s an unrealized goal. We feel guilty getting rid of the golf clubs because we always thought we were going to go golfing. We feel guilty about getting rid of it, so we keep it and then we feel guilty that we have too much stuff.”
Ruth urges us to remember that the memories surrounding an item in our home are more important than the item itself. If it’s causing us anxiety and guilt and stealing our focus from God, we need to strongly consider giving it away.
“Focus on keeping only that which is currently useful despite who gave it to you and despite how much it cost.”
What does it mean to find our security and peace in things rather than in God? Ruth draws a connection between our pace and our peace.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s physical stuff, material possessions or the fact that we’re just living our life as crazy as possible, and filling our schedule with all this stuff. Any of those can become our idol and the thing that we do that replaces God.”
We can’t focus so much on having things that we forget what we’ve already gained in Christ. Earthly treasures don’t compare with the grace that is ours in Christ. That grace means we can rest. What happens when instead, a cluttered, striving mentality invades our faith?
“When we think that it’s up to us, we miss the gift of grace. Ultimately it all comes down to grace. Being truly un-stuffed is being able to accept the gift that we’ve been given and realize that the work has already been done for us.”
Ruth’s book is Unstuffed: Decluttering Your Home, Mind, and Soul.
Featured Songs: Impossible by Meredith Andrews; Build Your Kingdom Here by Rend Collective; Shake by MercyMe