“There is a time to keep, and a time to throw away.”
—Ecclesiastes 3:6, NIV
TV reality programs showcase hoarders for our entertainment. However, hoarding is neither entertaining nor laughable. An excess of clutter in our homes can be the symptom of a severe psychological disorder. Hoarders not only cling to things of value, but they also cling to mounds of things that have no value at all. Most of us say we can’t comprehend this type of thinking, and yet we often replicate it.
The start of a new year is the perfect time to take inventory of areas we’ve neglected and rid our homes of items we no longer use. When I clean, I tend to concentrate on the rooms people see and push aside the cluttered drawers and closets (and heaven forbid, the attic). Out of sight, out of mind, right? Wrong. Because I know the clutter is there, it creeps into the corners of my life and disturbs my peace until I’m pressed to do something about it.
But clutter doesn’t only accumulate in the physical realm, it builds up in the spiritual aspects of our lives as well. Anything that disturbs our peace or blocks our pathway of communion with the Father is clutter. Let’s face it: no one wants to open the door of their prayer closet and meet an avalanche of shelved grievances, stored anger, or suffocating pride.
The prophet Isaiah told King Hezekiah, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die; you shall not recover’” (2 Kings 20:6). We may think Isaiah was short on bedside manner, but the truth is, he delivered a hard message from the Lord straight to the proud heart of a king who had opened up his doors to the enemy. Isaiah’s message produced repentance, brought cleansing, and added years to the king’s life.
“It’s time to put your house in order” is not a declaration we want to hear. Those words from our doctor mean he believes our days on earth are few and that we need to attend to the important things before it’s too late—things that if left undone would burden and add further heartache to the lives of those we love. But what if hearing and heeding his words could add years to our lives, or at least enrich our remaining days? Wouldn’t you welcome them?
In church, we sing, “All to Jesus, I surrender; all to him I freely give.” This song is so familiar it’s easy to let the words roll off our tongues with little thought. However, surrendering to the Lord requires intentionally barring the door of our hearts to the enemy, giving God the keys to every chamber, and clearing a pathway to his throne room through repentance and prayer. Are you surrendering your all to Jesus or only giving him lip service?
Be intentional. Today is the day to set your house in order.
Now it's your turn. What is one thing you can do to set your spiritual or your physical house in order in 2016?
I always welcome your comments.