Clutter, that stuff strewn everywhere that can make us anxious and stressed. It clogs up our lives and can lead to relationship fights and even unsafe conditions in our homes. Additionally, clutter can affect our focus and trigger avoidance as a coping mechanism because we feel overwhelmed.
Why do we allow the buildup of clutter? There are many reasons but here are a few common ones:
- It’s hard to part with things that have sentimental meaning (children’s artwork).
- Holding on means not letting go to things or people that have left us (keeping the clothes of a loved one who has died).
- The thought of, “What if I need this item at some point in my life?” (The guitar I keep because I might learn to play it one day.)
- It’s hard to get organized and some disorders like ADHD and dementia make clutter more probable.
- You can’t make decisions and might make a wrong one. (I am not sure, so I will keep this.)
- Your clutter might be valuable. (After watching episodes of Storage Wars, you don’t want to be the person who threw out a valuable item.)
- You are overwhelmed and just can’t deal with things. (It’s too much and I don’t know where to begin.)
I can’t help thinking that as we work on cleaning up our personal spaces, we should consider cleaning up our spiritual clutter as well. Spiritual clutter is those things that come between you and the Lord. Spiritual clutter can involve negative thoughts, holding on to resentment, bitterness, unforgiveness, and pride. These all clog up our relationship with the Lord and block His blessings.
So, whether you have physical or spiritual clutter, it’s time to clean up your life! Organize and tackle small things at a time. This can make a difference in working through physical clutter. Negotiating cleanup with family members is another good idea.
Now, to deal with spiritual clutter, examine your heart for things that exist but should not. Begin with Psalm 139: 23: “Search me, O God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.”
Then pay attention to what the Holy Spirit points out. It can be anything that offends or needs attention in your life. Be open. Look for those things that block your relationship with Christ.
For example, Ephesians 4:31-32 states, “Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.”
What is in your spiritual closet that needs discarding? What gets in your way of living a life devoted to God? What do you need to sort and clean up? How can you free up space for God and allow His spirit to lead, reorient and guide you? As you answer these questions, ask God to do what Psalm 51:10 says, “Create in me a clean heart, O God.” Only then you can rest in his presence and anxiety will fade.Cleaning up the clutter in your life