We packed a small U-Haul trailer with only the necessities we needed for our stint of training and stored, sold, or threw away everything else. While I missed a few items, I really enjoyed my half-empty cabinets. I never wasted time sorting through drawers to find what I needed.
Two years later we paid to move our stored items across the country to our new home. I unpacked our treasures and wondered why I’d paid to move them. My children had outgrown many of their toys and we’d found better replacements for many of ours.
After finding a pair of earrings I’d bought for a gift and a lost safe deposit key buried in my catchall drawer I realized I’m still paying to store and move junk. The clutter in my drawer had stolen the precious time I’d spent looking for lost items.
The Bible says spiritual clutter also steals what is precious.
Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants… The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful” (Matt. 13:7, 22 NIV).
Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you” (1 Jn. 2:15 NLT).
First John refers to the world system under Satan’s rule, not God’s beautiful creation or the people He made (Jn. 3:16). The world system competes with God for our affection. It says titles, pleasures, and purchases give life. The Bible warns these substitutes crowd out the source of true life.
Clutter, like weeds, appears without bidding. But an ordered heart and home take work.
- Email—This is one of the biggest time robbers in my life. I spend much more time reading email than I ever spent reading mail.
- Unsubscribe from senders rarely read.
- Schedule technology-free times.
- Social media may help us connect with some, but it can rob us from face to face connections.
- Turn off notifications from groups rarely used.
- Limit time on social media.
- Closets and collections
- Empty closet and drawers and put back only what you use.
- Share extras with ministries that distribute to the needy.
- Remove something when you add something. Too much of anything detracts from beauty and efficiency.
- Relegate items (shoes, plates, and accessories) to specific seasons.
- Schedule time with God for daily reflection, Bible reading, and prayer.
- Ask God to search your heart for any “hurtful way” (Ps. 139:23-24).
- Plan undistracted time to be with family and friends.
- Politely decline invitations that don’t contribute to your priorities.
When I think of getting rid of some things, sentiments or the fear I’ll miss them make me hesitate. Don Aslet suggested capturing sentimental items with photos and storing other items in a sealed box for a year. If you don’t remember what’s in the box at the end of the year, get rid of the unopened box.
Instead of considering the loss of releasing something, count the cost of keeping it. #declutter Click To Tweet
Jesus said, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life” (Jn. 10:10 NLT). Everything we hold on to takes up space in our hearts and homes. Sometimes, less really is more.
Question: How do you keep clutter from crowding out the joy of real treasures?
Click here to comment.
To receive our weekly blogs by email, subscribe here.
This weekend Apple wiped my harddrive clean because my computer was running slow. I told them that made me very nervous, but they assured me it was backed up and would be fine. Three days later, no one can retireve my computer data. A third party is working on it. Please pray I get back at least my books, articles, talks and what goes with them. Thankfully, my photos were on icloud. And pray for my peace. To list all that is potentionally lost only makes me feel sick. I’m trying to look forward, but I’m mourning what seems to be lost. “Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done.”
Today, November 7, Life in the Presence of God, by author and speaker Dr. Ken Boa is released. Ken is one of my favorite Bible teachers and his new book does not disappoint. It is my new favorite book of his. If you want help in keeping a focused heart, I highly recommend Life in the Presence of God.
This book is about experiencing God in day-to-day life, and it’s like a 21st-century version of Brother Lawrence’s classic The Practice of the Presence of God—except more practical, with ideas for how we can really become aware of God, and follow Christ’s command to abide in him, even in our technology-saturated, fast-paced modern context. You can order a copy here.
Sometimes I link up with these great sites:
We participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.