Updated: Jan 1, 2021
My first and only daughter just turned five. From the time she was a baby I have been showing her how to put her toys away. But when it comes time to straightening out her room, she wants me to do it for her. The scenario goes the same every time. I start cleaning, and she starts playing with things that I find. Several days ago, I decided that enough is enough. She is old enough to clean her own room. I gave her a quick briefing: “Dolls go in the bin, dirty clothes in the hamper, shoes in the closet, and just put the clean clothes on your bed!” She protested but soon realized that I meant business. I left the room completely unsure of what would happen. When I came back, I was thrilled to find her room looking neat and tidy! I told her how proud I was of her work. My naïve, first-time-mom reaction didn't last very long, however. I discovered all of the contents of the room hidden in a swirled pile of wreckage under her bed.
If you have children, you've probably experienced the same circumstance. A majority of us have done this ourselves. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree in my case. I began reminiscing about how I used to do this as a child. For some reason, I also had the logic that a quick fix was good enough to clean my room. Never mind that it made more of a mess in the long run. Now there were lost shoes and unmatched socks. Toys could go missing for months in this abyss. But the worst thing was knowing that my room really wasn't clean. It was all a show in order to make myself look presentable to my parents or friends.
Although this problem of clutter is frustrating and makes life a bit more difficult, there is a much bigger dilemma I see in myself and many of my Christian acquaintances:
This is the problem of spiritual clutter. This clutter can manifest itself in different ways in each of us. What do I mean by this? It is the sin in our life that we just can't seem to get rid of.
Maybe it plagues you each and every day, or perhaps it just shows up when you're having a bad day. Do you find yourself losing the battle against gossip, lust, exaggeration, or even hatred? If you do, you are not alone! Hope is not lost. God has given us the tools we need to clean house - His house, our body, His temple. Let's make the choice not to sweep the dust under the rug or hide the clutter under the bed anymore.
Friends, let me begin by telling you that this is also a daily struggle for me. Sometimes I feel like I am drowning underneath habits that I have accumulated and practiced for years. Stuffing it away and pretending nothing is there doesn’t work. Checking off a list of Christian “things” and justifying myself is also not the right replacement for true resolution. All of these so-called solutions merely make the matter worse, confusing things and leaving me with a bigger mess on the other side. Realizing that God’s Word has all of the answers and works for all situations is the only true remedy. Whether you have been to church your whole life, or have just met Jesus recently, let me assure you that His Word, the Bible, is always true. It doesn’t change. The more we trust and do as the Word tells us, the more we will be changed and consumed by His love. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”