Posted by: Jo | March 30, 2012

Spring Cleaning

“…let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full insurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience…” (Hebrews 10:22)

imageNothing can give a housewife more motivation to clean house than the news that visitors are about to become house guests. Perhaps mother-in laws have an edge, but usually the thought of any one being able to checkout closets and look in bathroom drawers is enough to get most of us going. Just recently I was expecting house guests to come and stay for a month. I will admit they were relatives, my daughter and son-in-law, but being family introduced another kind of pressure. I had preached long and hard to this now grown up lady about being tidy, and didn’t want to eat my words. Family honour was at stake. Spring cleaning would have to begin.

I began in the closet of the bedroom they were to occupy. I was amazed to find it was overflowing. Where had all these garments come from? I quickly realized a lot of discarding of unwanted items needed to take place. As I began to sort through the clothes I found this was easier said than done. I had grown attached to many occupants of this space. Some of them had been travelling with me for years! Regularly being packed and unpacked as we moved. It began to dawn on me that I was the real reason for the clutter in this closet. No wonder there wasn’t any space for visitors’ clothes. I had been carrying around with me unwanted and unused articles for years.

Our lives can sometimes become as cluttered as my closet with unwanted emotionsimage that rob us of the freedom to live life to the fullest. We hang on to that list of slights and grudges. We constantly go over our failures to keep reminding ourselves of how worthless we really are. Bitterness can take up a whole lot of space in our lives as we relive repeatedly, incidents from the past. Scripture warns us that bitterness can grow like a root (Hebrews 12:15) that entwines around our lives blocking the sunshine and not allowing the good to blossom. Even when we are aware of how unhealthy it is to cling to these destructive thoughts we seem reluctant to discard them and just “pack them back in our closet”

Spring cleaning in our lives can have a liberating affect that releases us from the bondage of carrying around garbage we don’t need. It is very difficult at first to look honestly at our secret hoard and to admit that we are clinging to stuff that needs to be dealt with. It is also difficult to admit we could do something about it. The next step is the most difficult, resolving to deal with it honestly.

When Jesus came across the invalid, lying beside the pool (John 5:1-11), he asks him what seems to be a strange question, “Do you want to get well?

The man doesn’t interrupt with a list of “buts”

  • but if you only knew how life has been hard for me
  • but if you only knew all the mean things people have done to me
  • but why are you bothering with a nobody like me?

imageHe suddenly believes Jesus is capable of wiping away 38 years that had been wasted lying beside that pool. He bravely discards the yesterdays and picks up his mat and walks.

Do we want to be well and have that abundant life that is promised for us? Now is the time for the spring cleaning to begin. Replacing negative thoughts is great way to start.

Paul writes to the Philippians with some good advice.

Finally brothers whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things

Discarding the unworthy, the unlovable, the unjust from our lives will set us on the road to healthy living.

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Responses

  1. You did it again Jo ! Using the Bible in such a way to make it so obvious how we live our lives and all the necessary adjustments we need to make to clean out the unwanted clutter. Thank you my friend Jennifer

    Like

  2. This is such a great analogy – a closet left unchecked, and a spiritual/emotional life that needs spring cleaning. Really love this – and I love that question about wanting to get well. It causes us to forget all our excuses and take ownership of our lives, choosing the one who can truly help us ‘clean out the clutter’…

    Like


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