Last weekend, I cleaned out my closet. I don’t know why the prospect of cleaning it out is so hard for me, or why I waited so long to actually clean it! My closet was a disaster. I could barely hang anything in it, and there were clothes and shoes strewn all around.
Sometimes, I really have a hard time letting go of things that belong to me.
Maybe it has something to do with growing up with a post-depression era Mother. As a child growing up, we didn’t have a lot of excess, and I can still hear my mom say, “Don’t throw that away. We may need it someday.” I think that is the attitude that I still have toward my clothing. Maybe I will wear it again, or if I just lose a few pounds that outfit will fit really nice. “Don’t get rid of it, you might want to wear that again someday,” I tell myself. And sometimes, that someday never comes, and so things are there taking up space, making it difficult for me to find things I really want to wear because I can’t see through the clutter.
How many times in life do we miss out on God’s best for our life, because we clench things so tightly with our fists that we don’t let go and make room for God to bless us? I wonder what blessings that I have missed out along the way because I was holding on too tightly to things, or feelings and emotions, or sin like jealousy or envy.
Back to my closet: My husband and boys helped me clean out my closet. They would pick things up, and say “Mom, the 90’s called and they want their clothes back!” It was really easy for them to see what was faded, stained, or things I no longer wear. It took us the entire day to clean out my closet. Wouldn’t it have been easier on the whole family if I would’ve just periodically cleaned out my closet along the way? Or taken a hard look at what was cluttering my closet? On a different level, what about the sin that is cluttering my heart and my life?
It’s easy for us to make judgments toward other people. It’s easy to compare ourselves and say “well, I am better than that person because I don’t _____.” But our own sin clouds our hearts and minds and keeps us from living the abundant life God has called us to live.
Matthew 7:3-5 says, ” Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
Just like cleaning out my closet, sometimes it is easier for other people to see what I don’t see. Lord, please help me to see what is obvious to others, help me to let go of whatever holds me back from living for You completely. Help me deal with the sin in my heart, before it gets so cluttered that I can’t contain the mess.
Cleaning out my closet was a very liberating experience. I can now walk in and find exactly what I am looking for, and I also have room left to add a few new pieces. The Bible is full of verses detailing God’s great blessings for our lives. For example, in Philippians 4:19 (ESV), Paul writes, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
If God will take care of everything I need according to his riches, then why would I want to hold on so tightly to things, attitudes, behavior, sin, that keep me from God’s best in my life? Lord, help me not to judge others, but help me become a better judge of my own condition.