I find the process cathartic. Taking stock of what’s there, deciding what is worth keeping and what isn’t. And getting rid of all the junk. There is a growing movement to this idea. It is called minimalism. The idea is that all the extra stuff doesn’t help us; it adds stress, disorder, and chaos to our lives.
Yet, even when you try even to declutter a closet, you can’t seem to let go of that 15-year-old pair of pants, the four belts that don’t fit, the two pairs of old shoes and the ties from 1983. You need to get rid of it, but it’s hard.
Minimalism isn’t really a new idea. Jesus probably started it. He didn’t intend for us to load our lives with lots of extra stuff that distracts us and weighs us down. He said it this way: “…O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:30-34)
The New Year is a great time to begin the decluttering process of both your home and your heart. Paul put it this way in Ephesians 4: “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; To be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully…Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
We all have lots of stuff we just need to get rid of. While the stuff that is cluttering our homes is distracting, the stuff clogging our hearts is dangerous. Use this time of year to take stock of what’s there and intentionally decide what’s worth keeping and what isn’t.
My hope is that as you journey with Jesus you’ll learn to walk lighter. Let go of all the trivial and learn to hold only to those things which truly matter.