November 6, 2008
Hiding My Junk
"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 3:8-9 (NIV)
My husband and I put our house on the market this week. We've been prayerfully considering moving closer to our families, but couldn't settle in our hearts the ideal timing for such a change. God answered our prayers for clarification when we discovered that we are pregnant with our third child. That means three babies, three pregnancies, three varied and growing sets of stretch marks in less than four years. God has been so faithful and gracious. So, we are moving closer to home. Here we grow...
We spent all weekend cleaning our house to get it ready to show it. It's amazing how much more junk I notice when I think about strangers walking through and evaluating our home. It was a full day's work. We cleaned out, threw away and hid an obscene amount of really unnecessary stuff (i.e. junk). I have watched enough HGTV to make this process a little bit easier. I knew ahead of time that less stuff equals more open space. Without the visual interruption of clutter, the eye can take in the full size of the room, the bones and beauty of the space. We all know that buyers appreciate a clean slate. It's easier to see the good stuff without all the junk around. I know this, but in the midst of all the cleaning out, I still questioned if people really care.
Let me be a little more specific. Could a buyer overlook the winter coats and hats dropped in the bottom of my pantry floor? Would they mind the empty video game boxes stacked neatly in the corner? I know they'll look in my junk drawer to see empty medicine bottles, matches, broken sunglasses, playing cards and takeout menus. But doesn't everyone have a junk drawer? Surely, visitors won't mind boxes of the boys’ winter clothes clogging up the closet space.
During the process, I couldn't help but wonder if it was time for a spiritual open house. I sense that I've been storing unsightly clutter for far too long. It's a lot of junk really. I think I could make a better use of the space if I'd just let some things go. I'm afraid when people look at my life they see spiritual clutter (i.e. sin). Can they appreciate the bones and beauty of the work of God in my life or does their eye stop on all the junk? Do they see an overcrowded life that squeezes out the space God longs to fill with His peace, presence and holiness? Will they notice good but unnecessary things that fill the void?
Let me be a little more specific. Could someone look past my too-often indulged habit of gossip? Will they really mind the irritability I often display with my husband, and what about the petty jokes made at his expense? I know they will look at me and see gluttony, pride, a love of television and a lack of discipline. But doesn't everyone have stuff they struggle with? Do they wonder about a woman who leads small group, teaches women's conferences and disciples youth, but has a hard time regularly sitting and being still before the Lord?
My personal challenge for the next few days is to look at my life not the way a perfect stranger would, but the way a Perfect Savior would. It's unlikely He will look past the things that I'm far too complacent about. Once I've taken a spiritual inventory I'm not going to just hide the junk. I don't know about you, but that junk always seems to reappear and at the worst possible time. No, I'm going to do my best to let my junk go. Friends, I'm moving closer to my Father. Here I grow...
Dear Lord, I want to live free of the junk of sin. Forgive me and help me make the move to living according to your Word. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Breathe: Creating Space for God in a Hectic Life by Keri Wyatt Kent
Look for examples of sinful clutter in your life.
Identify these trouble spots and make a plan to begin dealing with each area.
Have you been avoiding dealing with areas of sin in your life?
Are there negative effects of sin keeping others from seeing the work of God in your life?
Luke 12:15, Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." (NIV)
© 2008 by Whitney Capps. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Thursday, 06 November 2008.