“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…” (Hebrews 12:1, NIV).
Life is hard enough without intentionally making it more difficult than it has to be. Jesus said that in this world we will have trouble. Unfortunately, our sin nature wars within us, creating desires that are at odds with us living in a way that is pleasing to God and allowing us to live in peace.
We get caught in a cycle which creates nothing more than busyness, yet not knowing how to get out of the chaos that a clutter-filled life creates.
In Matthew 5, Jesus taught the disciples what we have come to call the Beatitudes. These are the ‘bes’ of the Christian life, not the ‘dos.’ Too often our lives become all about the activity and accumulation of stuff and devolves into nothing more than doing for the sake of doing, amassing a lot of stuff but remaining bankrupt in spirit.
We work too hard for what we think we need, and especially for what we want, when in reality we must get rid of the clutter first to make room for the truly important. We spend all of our time striving for the ‘stuff of life,’ but we forget to work on the ‘be of life.’
Unfortunately, we’ve become programmed to be busy. We don’t like the thought intrusion of true self-reflection because we find ourselves lacking. Busyness numbs the uncomfortable conscience prick.
And we’re afraid. We fear loss more than we anticipate gain, so we hang on to the lesser we already have in lieu of the greater we could gain. And that brings chaos. Anxiety. Depression. Frustration.
Bottom line, we don’t trust our Father as much as we say we do.
The way to have more of what God desires for us is to get rid of the things that get in the way of those things that really matter.
In part of what is called the sermon on the mount, Jesus states that storing up treasure on earth is foolishness. Rather, we should focus our lives on storing up treasure in heaven (see Matthew 6). That is the only way to live in the peace that Jesus promises.
The apostle Paul told Timothy that “… Godliness with contentment is great gain,” (I Timothy 6:6).
It’s time to declutter.