We live in a culture that says the more we have, the happier we will be. So, we keep piling on things—often things we don’t need—and then get so attached to them, we can’t bring ourselves to throw them out or give them away. What’s the result? Closets are in complete disarray. There are stacks of dirty dishes piled up in the sink and loads of unwashed clothes accumulated in the laundry basket. There is unwanted junk in the garage and rubbish in the backyard. And we start to stress out!
We can fill our lives with such clutter and then wonder why we are so messed up. We collect people because we think one can never have too many friends, not realizing that some are toxic or just not right for us. We pick up bad habits, which, as the saying goes, are like a comfortable bed: easy to get into but hard to get out of. We store anger, hatred, bitterness, guilt, and anxiety in our hearts until our hearts stink like unwashed socks. And then we wonder why we can’t sleep at night, why we keep falling sick, why we’re always miserable. It is because there is too much clutter in our lives!
The solution should be obvious. Declutter! We have to be ruthless because we like to hang on to grudges like we hang on to jeans that no longer fit! And we have to be systematic in how we go about doing this. Make a list. Here is how it could go: Toxic relationships. Addictions. Negative emotions. We could spend a month getting rid of negative emotions and still not be done with them!
What will help is to remind ourselves that God has not created us to be unhappy. He wants to bless us with everything good, but there is no place for him to put the good stuff because of all the rubbish we have stored in us. But if we were to eliminate all these negative things that do nothing but harm us, he would fill us with all the good things he wants us to have.
So, how about you begin uncluttering your life today, my friend. Begin by forgiving everybody who has hurt you. I know it’s hard, but you’ll find everything that follows easier if you do this. Then do something about those relationships, but with love and gentleness; even toxic people have hearts that hurt. Find a way to end those habits and eliminate all those negative emotions. God is gracious, and when he sees you are serious about eliminating the unwanted from your life, you will have a lot of help from him. And then, Moses’ words of blessing for the Israelites will apply to you as well.
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace (Numbers 6:24-26).