Not too long ago, a small Japanese woman took the world by storm, all due to a book she had written “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.”
What is the art of tidying up? In a nutshell, it’s de-cluttering your home and living a more minimal lifestyle. It’s a way of organizing, sorting, cleaning, and discarding things in your home.
She has very simple rules of “tidying” up. The most important one – Ask yourself if it sparks joy.
This idea has moved people to start cleaning out their closets, drawers, garages, attics – and getting rid of things in their lives that no longer spark joy.
However, Marie Kondo isn’t the first person to suggest we let go of things and move on. In essence, she’s telling you what God has been trying to tell us for generations – and that is to let go.
I think there’s a vast spiritual connection here. If our body is the temple of the Lord, what kind of environment have we created for Him inside of us?
I think a lot of us may be good at keeping house, looking like we have it all together on the outside – but what about the inside? Is it full of clutter and mess? Or is it a home that allows God to have space to work, create, and thrive inside of us?
The bible teaches us that if we want to be followers of Christ, that we have to repent, be baptized, and live our lives for Him.
When we repent – we decide that we no longer want to live the way we are living in sin, and we are going to turn away from the lifestyle of the world. Or, we’re going to get rid of things that clutter our lives.
When we are baptized – we start over, with a clean slate. We’ve allowed Jesus to cleanse us, to get rid of all the mess inside. It’s a new start.
Problem is – over a lifetime, we accumulate things we just aren’t sure we can get rid of.
When we did our own version of Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up, I found myself staring at 50+ items of clothing in my closet. I pulled it all out and went through each item. After I went through everything, I realized my “let go” pile was still awfully small.
But why? Why are we so hesitant to let go of things? Maybe you spent a lot of money on something. Maybe it holds sentimental value. Maybe you just really like it. Whatever the case may be, we have a hard time letting go. We almost need someone to come in and say “It’s just stuff. It’s okay to let it go.”
We struggle the same way with the clutter in our lives. This is where our relationship with God comes in. We need HIS help to let go. We need HIS help to come in and make us clean. We can’t purge all the sin in our life without Him.
What ends up happening a lot of times when we de-clutter our homes, is that we get rid of some things, and then we end up going out and replacing all those things we just got rid of with more things.
We do that with our spiritual lives as well. We tend to go out and replace our sin with more sin. But, with God’s help – we can keep this temple holy and clean.
Have you ever watched an episode of Hoarders on television? This show often depicts a very serious psychological problem of people who cling to stuff for some reason or another. And I’m not just talking about too many books for their shelves or too many clothes for their drawers. They have so many possessions, they don’t have anywhere for them. They end up stacking boxes on top of boxes, on top of trash, on top of clothes, and so on.
We look at these things with disgust – and we can’t imagine living in such filth, such disrepair, such chaos.
But I wonder, if the Holy Spirit living inside of you could show you what your mind looks like – would it represent a heart that had been tidied up like a Marie Kondo home, or a spirit filled with possessions like an episode of Hoarders?
The bible tells us over and over again to take our burdens, our worries, our struggles, our sins – and place them at the feet of Jesus. To allow Jesus to take control of this body, heart, soul, mind – and purify us as only He can.
Psalm 55:22 tells us to “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you.”
Matthew 11:28 tells us to “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and he will give us rest.”
Isaiah 41:13 says “For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you ‘Fear not, I will help you.”
I Peter 5:6-7 says “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care on Him, for He cares for you.”
Isaiah 46:4 says “Even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry and will deliver you.”
For some reason, we like to hold on to as much as we can, instead of letting our Almighty Creator bear our burdens for us. We cram all of this junk into our hearts, we let it clutter our spirit, and before long, we can’t make sense of any of it. But it’s time to let it go.
It’s time to start tidying up. It’s time to make room for Christ to work in your heart, instead of letting your fears, anxieties, worries, struggles, troubles – take up all the room and occupy a place in your head.
Here’s what you do. Get into the routine of praying this prayer: “Lord, anything that comes near me that can harm me, hurt me, cause anxiety, and the like – I’m just going to lay it at your feet and let you deal with it instead of bringing it into the house and letting it take up unnecessary space.”