Where Did All This Stuff Come From?

hotel roomHave you ever looked around your house and wondered, Where in the world did I get all this stuff???

I have. On pretty much a daily basis. It’s true that a certain amount of stuff comes with having 2 adults and 5 kids living in the same house. But this much stuff? Really?

That’s why I LOVE hotels. Because there’s no stuff. You have the basics, and you make do, and everybody’s happy, as long as the cable TV is working. Which always makes me wonder, if I can be that happy with almost no stuff, then why do I still have all the stuff that’s in my house?

Which brings me to last weekend. Being as my husband can live with almost no stuff at all (he’s kind of a minimalist), and being as I wanted much less stuff, my husband took the kids down to his parents’ house for the weekend so that I could stay behind and Get. Rid. Of. Stuff.

Which I did. I spent the entire weekend, from Saturday morning until late Sunday afternoon, getting rid of stuff we didn’t need and rearranging what was left. I don’t think I actually cleaned much, but I sure did create a lot more blank space, which makes me go “Ahhhhhhh” every time my eyes light upon a spot where something used to be.

And do you know what? Not a single one of us has died. Nobody’s even gotten slightly ill. The only difference seems to be that now, our favorite charity has lots more nice things they can bless somebody with, and we have a lot fewer nice things, which makes it easier to keep the remaining things picked up and put away.

Sometimes less really is more.

Here’s the point (which God kind of just dropped in my lap, as He often does when making a point with me): we need to keep our spiritual “houses” equally clean and organized. We need to go through them and get rid of all the stuff we don’t need. Let’s get rid of the things that are destroying the peace of our “house,” find different uses for some things, and start using other things that have been sitting in the cabinets gathering dust.

What kind of things destroy the peace of our house? Unloving attitudes. Gossip. Impatience. A critical spirit. An ungrateful or complaining spirit. Demeaning or disrespectful talk. Unrighteous anger (which, let’s be honest, is 99% of the anger we feel).

What kinds of things do we need to find different uses for? How about turning our take-charge attitude into a way to bless others instead of a way to control them? How about turning our dissatisfaction with the world into a longing for heaven, where everything will be more perfect than we can imagine?

And let’s not forget to put some dusty things into use. Bibles, especially leather ones, especially heirloom leather ones, make great additions to a decorating scheme. But they work even better if they’re read regularly. And what about our ability to organize, or to speak in public, or to be creative, or to sing, or, or, or, that we haven’t exercised in a long time? Why not see what use God might want to make of it? After all, if He gives us an ability, there’s a reason.

What we’re going for here is, to have our spiritual houses cleared out of all the stuff that harms us or others, and to have the stuff that remains be in use and a blessing to someone.

Last week, I simply got some boxes and bags, loaded them full, and set them aside for donation. We can’t exactly do that with our spiritual houses. But here’s what we can do: we can ask God to go through our house with us (doing it on our own means we’re liable to throw out and/or keep the wrong things) and take away whatever doesn’t need to be there. Then we can ask Him to help us organize what remains so that it can bless the people He intends for it to bless—ourselves included.

Does your spiritual house need a cleaning? Unless you did it like 5 minutes ago, then, yes, it probably does. Because even when we clean them regularly, stuff still builds up, making another cleaning necessary. Let’s just assume that we could all use a little (or a lot!) cleaning of our spiritual house.

So let’s get to it! Unfortunately, our spiritual house won’t clean itself any more than our physical house will.

Colossians 3:8-9—But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices. (ESV)

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