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Cut the Clutter: Your Spiritual Spring Cleaning

Posted by Nate Stevens on

It’s that time of year again—the time you find your missing treasures and realize you are an inveterate hoarder. Spring cleaning. Yes, I am so glad to have found my favorite can-opener, and I do not know how it got to the shed. But there can also be a great deal of discomfort involved in getting through a metric ton of creeping crud.

There is nothing like the combined joy and pain of spring cleaning. It is a wonder how so much stuff gets put in the wrong place—or how much junk has avoided the trashcan. Maybe it’s because the winter is dark and long, we just can’t see as clearly. Either way, for most of us spring cleaning is a necessary reality. What’s funny is that it is instinctual; that time of year rolls around and you just feel like cleaning up and throwing out. Our clutter gauge is full, and we just can’t live with it anymore.

Our walk with God often needs a spring cleaning. We start to get bored with life and things seem monotonous. Or maybe we pause for a moment and realize that we really haven’t felt close to God for some time—we’ve just been going through the motions. Or maybe life has been going so well, and the blessings have drowned out our need for God. For me, busyness is a big cause—I get busy and the feeling of productiveness slowly obscures and clouds my hunger for God. Most of the time the need for this spiritual cleaning has been caused by numerous bad small decisions—nothing major, just small compromises, small oversights and small bad decisions, all of which have taken us far from God.

By any route, times come when the Holy Spirit brings up our need to get back to basics. 

Sometimes he uses pain to cause us to pause; sometimes he lets us run ourselves ragged until we collapse; other times his voice gently calls us to return. Many times he uses an “all of the above” approach.

There are always two steps to spring cleaning—we have to stop collecting junk and putting stuff where it doesn’t belong. This is often the hardest step. Nothing is cleaned, but at least we have stopped moving in the wrong direction. Secondly, we have to start throwing things out and putting things in their proper places. 

Similarly, when the Holy Spirit calls us to clean up our spiritual lives there are two steps. First, stop the behaviors or thoughts that have created the distance between you and God, and re-evaluate the small decisions and compromises that took you away. Confess that stuff to God and any others who have been hurt by it. Get rid of the junk. Secondly, return to the deeds you did at first, when your walk with God was vibrant. Get back to journaling. Get back into your real engagement with God through his Word. Get back into worship—at home and at church.

There is nothing like the feelings of peace, satisfaction, and deep joy when the last catch-all drawer has been organized and you sink into your favorite chair with the smell of Lysol in the air, and crocus blooms out the window. An even greater sense of wholeness and health results from spiritual spring cleaning—a deeply satisfying intimacy with God and a renewed grasp of his purposes for your life, and committed motivation to make life count. It’s that time of year, let’s get to it.    

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mary c. konesky Apr 3, 2018 2:12pm

awesome./ty

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