Every beginning of the year comes with different challenges. Those to lose weight or get back in shape, those to save money or to realize our dreams. And there is also a popular challenge in the last few years, that of decluttering.
When a person dies, and we have to sort through their possessions, we realize how much we accumulate all kinds of things, more or less useful. We keep several pieces of clothing in case we have the opportunity to wear them. We accumulate different decorations because they remind us of our trips. And other objects are there simply because we have forgotten them, even if they are on our counters or desks. If we don’t take the time to sort it, to do the decluttering exercise, we can quickly become overwhelmed. Even the Bible speaks of this: “A time to search and a time to give up as lost; a time to keep and a time to throw away” (Ecclesiastes 3:6 NASB).
So what are you going to do to declutter your home?
The decluttering exercise should not only be done with our material things. It is also wise to take the time to look at our activities and clean up on that side as well. What activity do we do out of habit, without it being really useful for us? What takes up our time so much that we can no longer have healthy time with God, or robs us of time to evangelize or grow the Kingdom of God (Luke 9:59-62)?
So what are you going to do to declutter your agenda?
And what about our contact list? It is good to list all the people around us and consider who should be at the top of our priority list and who we should perhaps give less time to. Some friendships are uplifting and constructive. Other people are in our lives because God wants us to help them. But other relationships are toxic, and we should end them (1 Corinthians 5:11).
So what are you going to do to declutter your friendships?
The most difficult, but certainly the most important clean-up to do, is decluttering our thoughts. “When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, your comfort delights my soul” (Psalms 94:19 NASB). We have inner reasoning that is not always constructive. We are very good at putting ourselves down or imagining the worst possible scenario. But when dark thoughts invade our hearts, we must take the time to clean up our minds. “Why are you in despair, my soul? And why are you restless within me? Wait for God, for I will again praise Him for the help of His presence, my God” (Psalms 42:5 NASB). It is not easy to put a stop to our worries, or carnal desires, but if we let our souls become encumbered with all this, we will have no more room to grow spiritually. “And the one sown with seed among the thorns, this is the one who hears the word, and the anxiety of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful” (Matthew 13:22 NASB).
So what are you going to do to declutter your thoughts?
All this is necessary to feel free and to see more clearly. It won’t be easy, but Jesus never said that following Him would be a path of roses. Fortunately, He did not leave us alone in this task; we have the Holy Spirit to help us in this big cleaning. Let us take his hand and follow his direction, He will bring us to true rest.