Have you ever tried to convince a packrat to throw something away? If so, then you know just how difficult it is to get a person who hates to part with anything—even the most unnecessary items—to let stuff go.
Interior designer William Morris suggests, “Have nothing in your home you don’t know to be useful and believe to be beautiful.” Reducing clutter “isn’t a competition to see who has the fewest things,” writes the editor of Simple Living magazine. “It’s about living in a way that keeps your time, money, and energy available for the things that truly matter to you.”
In his letter to the Philippians, the apostle Paul discloses that he once had a hoarding problem. While he wasn’t necessarily filling his house with stuff, we find that Paul was obsessed with keeping the Jewish law. He amassed accolade after superfluous accolade for being a great Pharisee. His self-confidence and legalistic righteousness were overflowing! (3:3-6).
Paul didn’t see that what he was accumulating had no good use. “But now,” he said after a radical heart conversion, “I consider them worthless . . . when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with Him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with Himself depends on faith” (vv.7-9).
There is a time for everything, our wise teacher King Solomon explains, and that includes: “A time to keep and a time to throw away” (Ecclesiastes 3:6).
What should you discard in order to know Christ better?
Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us (Hebrews 12:1).
What’s cluttering your relationship with God? How will you remove the clutter?