Removing the Clutter
What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ. (Philippians 3:8)
One of the current ‘reality television’ shows is ‘Life Laundry’ (forgive us if you are reading this in twenty years’ time when this seems very outdated!). The programme’s aim is to remove the clutter that we all so easily accumulate in our homes. You know the sort of things: keepsakes from past holidays, old school books, long-playing vinyl records, things we can’t bring ourselves to throw away. In the program, all of this junk (for that is what it really is!) is put on the lawn (a lawn which, remarkably, whenever I have watched it, has always been dry!). Then presenters sit down with the owners who have to justify why they want to keep the various items. You can imagine some of the inventive reasons that people come up with when challenged!
Well, here’s a challenge to us. Do we need a spiritual ‘Life Laundry’, a spiritual spring-clean? Is there spiritual clutter that we need to get rid of? Are there things that hinder us from loving Christ more, or things that crowd him out or that have taken his place? Are there things which, though once useful, have now passed their ‘sell-by’ date and serve no purpose to either God or man? It could be money, ambition, pride: it could be an obsession or persistent habit; it could be a problem with a personal relationship, excessive pressure from work, family or church; it could be laziness, or a host of smaller things that stifle our love for Jesus. Paul considered as rubbish absolutely anything that got in the way of him and Jesus!
God wants our devotion to him to be pure and wholehearted. Like weeds in the garden, the cares of life tend to grow naturally and persistently. So we need to take time to remove the weeds so that the Spirit can produce his fruit in our lives instead. Ask God to show you your clutter and to help you walk in his ways today.
Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. (Psalm 86:11)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont
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