Saturday, November 16, 2013

Cleaning out ...

A few days ago I spent the entire day cleaning up and cleaning out my cabinets.  Today we had friends over and I made sure that the living room was vacuumed and picked up.  The kitchen was clean.  The table was set.  I showed off my newly organized cabinets and pointed out that the top of my fridge was no longer loaded with stuff, but instead had only a decorative cookie jar and my recipe box on top.

Later, somehow my and my husband's bedroom came up.  It's huge with a jacuzzi tub in it and a fire place.  The master bedroom was what sold us on the house.  I told her  it was a total wreck and even showed her our room with the plastic storage boxes filling one corner, the bed unmade, towels on the floor, and the three-year-old's toys all over the place.

I am currently working on cleaning and organizing our pantry when this thought came to me.  We spend so much time organizing and cleaning what others can see, but try to close the door to real mess.  If we make the part that everyone sees neat and tidy, somehow we think they'll believe that the rest of the house is the same way when it really isn't.

As Christians our lives are the same.  We want what the world and our friends to see to be neat, tidy, admirable, something they might want to emulate.  But what we show on the outside isn't who we really are.  Who we REALLY are is what we hide behind that door, like our office and master bedroom.  As humans, we have a tendency to shove the messy untidy parts of our lives into secret places where we can hide them. The problem with that, particularly as Christians, is that eventually we have to let others in to see ALL of who we are if we plan to truly serve Him.  Sometimes we don't even have to let people in because there is only so much space to hide stuff, then it starts to trickle out.

As servants and followers of Christ, we have to stop trying to hide things instead of dealing with them.  The Bible says, "A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil out of the evil stored up in his heart.  For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of."  (Luke 6:45 NIV)  You see, we can't hide it forever.  Eventually we have to let people in or it comes out on its own.  I hide quite a few things, or least try.  Those who know me know that I can be judgemental and critical when I fail to be humble.  I can complain and have fear when I fail to remember to be thankful for the amazing provisions of the Lord.  And he has provided so faithfully all these years!

So I am deciding right now to spend more time humbled before my Lord and thankful for all His blessings.  I am asking Him to prick my spirit when I judge or complain so that I will remember these words that I have written.  You see, the best motivation to clean out the junk that burdens us is the motivation of the something better and fulfilling taking its place.  I choose the better.  I choose the Spirit of the Lord.  I choose to toss out harsh criticism and judgemental thoughts for the indwelling Spirit of compassion and love.  I chose to dispose of complaining and uncertainty for the Spirit of peace.

You see, these things ARE choices.  And I choose to put on my new self.

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I have said these things unto you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
~John 16:33