Getting Rid of Spiritual Clutter
By Janet Morris Grimes -
Clutter is defined in several ways. Garbage. Unnecessary mess. Disorder. Confusion. It is the stuff no one knows what to do with, so it just piles up, expanding to fill whatever space it is allowed.
Entire television shows are based on how clutter steals the joy of a home. When left to its own accord, clutter takes over, to the point that it hides all that is beautiful; to the point that the mess is the only thing that can be seen.
During the last week of the life of Jesus, he was disturbed by the clutter he found in the temple. He hoped to find a quiet place of worship and prayer, but instead, he found a ‘den of robbers,’ shady characters who twisted the truth in an attempt to make a profit. He cleansed the temple, overturning the tables in a controlled fit of rage.
He had a right to be angry. Clutter cannot be ignored, and in order for the temple to serve its true purpose, which was to bring his followers closer to him and give them a place to worship once he was gone, he had to get rid of all that did not belong there.
The same is true for our spiritual lives. We hold on to bits of pieces of our past, the parts we aren’t sure what to do with, and we try to ignore them. But they accumulate and expand, soon overtaking our lives and keeping us from serving our true purpose. We end up carrying trash bags full of garbage with us wherever we go, wondering why we don’t feel free to worship and why we can’t sense the presence of God.
Here are a few ways to cleanse your own temple:
§ Forgive yourself and others – True forgiveness is the only act that frees you to move forward. Holding on to past hurts will damage you much more than the person who hurt you in the beginning. The only way your future can be better is by leaving your past in the past and getting it out of your temple. And as hard as it is to forgive others, it is much more difficult to forgive ourselves. Let go. Let go of the garbage, and make sure you are not your own worst enemy.
§ Free yourself from bad habits – Your body sometimes is a great reflection of how you feel spiritually as well. Treat your body with respect, and it will do the same for you. Strengthen you muscles and push yourself hard enough to grow.
§ Focus on Heaven – Most of what the world stays in an uproar about matters little in the end. Life is short and thankfully, it is not up to us to make sure the world is running properly. Paul said it best in I Corinthians 9:24, when he encourages us to “run in such a way as to obtain the prize.” The true prize is Heaven, and all that we experience between here and eternity are just preparing us for the reward of living with God, with Jesus by our side. Anything that doesn’t bring you closer to Heaven is simply not worth worrying about.
Our lives are meant for worship, and beauty, and growth, and anything that gets in the way of this is clutter, and needs to be removed as quickly as possible. Only then can we find true peace.
I Corinthians 14:33 – For God is not a God of disorder but of peace…. (NIV)