How Clutter Kills Spiritual Growth
So, last year was hard. But, I do think one silver-lining of the pandemic is that we were forced to slow down. We were given a unique opportunity to remove things off our schedule (even though that may have been disappointing in some instances). We had a chance to reconnect with the people we live with. We could declutter. We could do some weeding.
Some of us, hopefully, took the opportunity to do just that, declutter our schedule from things that don’t matter as much or distract us from loving the people in our home well or doing God’s purpose for our life.
As restrictions begin to lift and we, more and more, feel “back in the swing of things,” do you think you will allow yourself to get just as busy as you once were? Will the clutter start to collect back into your schedule?
You think about the way clutter works every time you make an acquisition. You get a new house and then you got to get furniture, new mower, blinds, window treatments -- not bad things necessarily, and I'm sure not saying you shouldn't have those, but it just tends to lead to more and more and more.
Clutter is like weeds. When you have weeds in your yard, they choke your grass, and they don’t go away on your own. In your life, they choke spiritual growth (or spiritual fruit even) out of you. They choke relational health and marriages, even with the pandemic forcing us to slow down, we have to continue to weed.
Here’s what Jesus says is the meaning of Luke 8:7: “The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.” (Luke 8:14 NIV).
Weeds and clutter keep us from growing and producing the fruit of the Holy Spirit, which are: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness and Self-Control.
What are some examples of weeds?
Maybe your weeds are mostly how you spend your time thinking. You can’t hear God if your mind is crowded with other thoughts or concerns — particularly worries, plans, and activities. If we’re always listening to the radio or watching tv, the circuits are going to be busy when God calls us.
Maybe you're a workaholic, and it's choking the spiritual life out of you. You need to get serious about cutting back hours. You're not able to love God, love your family, love your friends the way that you should. You've got to do some weeding. The weeds aren’t going to go away on their own.
Some of you are financially overextended, and it's choking the generosity and spiritual vitality out of you, and you need to rearrange your financial lives. You need to do some financial weeding.
Some of you have kids that are signed up for so many leagues, clubs and lessons, you need to do some weeding. The pandemic helped us do some of that, but this year as we thankfully get to do more and more, we will make wise choices about how we spend our time.
How do you do that? You involve God in your decision-making process when it comes to accepting offers and putting things on your calendar. You involve him when a new opportunity comes up. God’s plan for your life doesn’t involve stress, overworking and putting your family or spiritual life on the back burner.
God wants to use your life in amazing ways. He put you on this planet to use you for his purposes. But most people don’t get to experience this because they don’t make time for God in their schedule. They’re so busy with their agenda, they’ve never learned how to manage their time. If you want to be used by God, you must manage your time well.
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