Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
In Part 1, I started talking about decluttering your life; talking about how important it is to sometimes help someone to declutter, get rid of some of the rubbish and the stuff that has been piled up above the cupboards—the Christmas presents that haven’t been opened.
Unfortunately our society says more is better—Jesus says less is better when you put me first. Jesus challenges us to look beyond our earthly possessions and spend time preparing for eternity.
Jesus also said in Matthew 6:21 (GNT), “For your heart will always be where your riches are”—
- What are your treasures?
- What matters most?
- What have you allowed to fill your life?
I’m sure we have too much stuff, and miss out on what is really important.
I have an idea some people live with clutter because they cling to the past. They can’t bear to part with anything they value. Everything has a special meaning, a special memory, or a purpose—everything! You keep on collecting without cleaning out. The clutter keeps growing. Of course, I know that possessions have meaning and purpose.
But there’s a limit—there always is. We don’t live in heaven yet. Some of us are obsessed with acquiring things, but in the end we don’t enjoy them. Is it to keep up with our friends or neighbours? These things become a bondage that God can and will break.
He is the master renovator of lives, and can do a wonderful spring-clean if we allow him into our lives. He puts everything into proper perspective. Ask him to help you enjoy today and the future days. He knows what’s ahead, for he operates time. There is nothing to be afraid of.
The Clutter of Worldly Possessions
God never intended that we be bogged down with worldly possessions. Look at the example of Jesus himself. He and his disciples travelled light and their focus was on teaching God’s word wherever they could, in any situations. They were not about acquiring stuff and showing them off.
As you read about the life of Christ, you just don’t get the sense that he was obsessive or compulsive. You don’t sense a mind frazzled with details and overwhelmed with activity. Rather, it seems that he was always on schedule, never late, never in a hurry—moment by moment doing the will of the Father.
Give God his rightful share of your time and space. Start your day with God. God’s mercies are new each morning, as the Bible tells us. His strength and wisdom is fresh for you and me each morning. Take advantage of it, and talk to him about anything and everything of concern.
Nothing is too small or insignificant for God. If you want to change the atmosphere of your morning, and your whole day, simply start your day off right by going to the Lord and giving it to him first.
Decluttering Our Hearts
How do we get rid of clutter? It begins with the heart. More specifically, with forgiveness—declutter your heart through forgiveness. Just as sure as a heart attack will stop a marathon runner, so bitterness will be the ruin of a Christian trying to live for his/her faith. The Bible says: “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice” (Ephesians 4:31 – KJV).
Bitterness is like plaque constricting the spiritual arteries. It prevents God’s grace from freely flowing to and from the heart—bitterness will take a toll on your physical health as well. No grudge; no hatred; no jealousy—not even a little; not even for one day.
And then there is forgiveness: “Be kind and tender-hearted to one another, and forgive one another, as God has forgiven you through Christ” (Ephesians 4:32 – GNT). Forgiving someone is like taking off heavy boots and replacing them with lightweight running shoes. It frees our own hearts, and it enables us to receive and give God’s grace.
In our fast-paced society, our minds become cluttered quickly and easily. How do we slow it down? How do we declutter our minds? One word: focus. Declutter your mind through focus. Jesus had a single focus: doing the will of the Father.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “This one thing I do….” Most of us would more accurately write, These forty things I attempt to multi-task. Focus is a discipline. And it is a discipline we must develop if we are to declutter our minds.