As I declutter my house in preparation for a new season, I can’t help but think how important it is that we also take the time to declutter our minds and spirit.
We tend to accumulate “stuff” in our minds and hearts more quickly than in our homes. With online shopping, it’s easy to order what we want and get it the next day. Sometimes, even that same day (thank you Amazon Prime).
But think about how many conversations we have day in and day out. Or the thoughtless scrolling we do on social media, taking in the energy and junk of others. Both of which are not always good for us. We ought to consider decluttering mentally and emotionally more often than we do in our houses. We ought to make it a regular habit to take inventory of what our mind and spirit have possessed. The effect of decluttering leaves us with great balance, peace, and clarity.
Decluttering my home is generally intentional but is sometimes random. There are times when I come across an article of clothing while looking for another and decide that it’s time to get rid of it. The basis of my decision to get rid of it could be that I haven’t worn it in forever. It might be that it was something trendy and now “out of style.” Or it may be that it has been damaged in some way, and in my hopes to salvage the clothing article (the DIY in me), I realize that it just isn’t worth the effort.
The result? I toss it.
When I declutter my home, I use a strategy that is common amongst many people. It’s simple, but it works.
Assess what you have and then determine where it needs to go. You either trash it, retain it or donate it. This same strategy can be used for decluttering the mind and spirit. However, consider this, when we declutter our mind and spirit, partner with God in the process.
Like how I walk through my house and pick up each article to determine its value, I do the same with my mind and spirit. Of course, you can’t physically walk through your mind or spirit, but you can certainly do so meditatively.
So, go on, take a meditative walk and assess each matter onto which you are holding. Then, with each assessed matter of your mind and spirit, measure it against the Word of God to determine its value. (2 Corinthians 10:5 CSB)
All three categories in which we decide to place our clutter are beneficial, but this trash pile, in particular, is critical. Without it, the other two categories can and will suffer much.
Ever seen the show Hoarders? The host of the show helps the homeowner assess their possessions. These folks have so much stuff in their home that they don’t truly know all that they have. In some episodes, they may need to condemn the house because of the clutter they have acquired. In other episodes, however, once they remove the clutter, the value and beauty of the home are exposed.
The same is true with matters of our mind and spirit. If we hold on to anything that causes us turmoil and strife, they can potentially negate anything worth keeping.
Merriam-Webster defines trash as something worth little or nothing. Trash can be anything that weighs us down. For example, trash can be something hurtful that someone has said or done to us due to their own pain. As the saying goes, “hurt people, hurt people.”
Trash may be something that we believe about ourselves that is negative and likely untrue. Trash may even be our own sin if we aren’t willing to repent and do things according to how God instructs us.
While God doesn’t promise us there won’t be any turmoil in our lives, He does empower and gifts us with His peace to get through it. (John 16:33 CSB)
Bottom line…if it doesn’t bring us peace or if we cannot find peace from God as we navigate through it, then place it into the trash pile. Dispose of it and do not pass it on to anyone else.
This category can sometimes get a little tricky.
Items or matters that we think we should keep may really need to go and vice versa.
As I mentioned before, our success in this spiritual decluttering will heavily rely on our partnership with God. We must seek Him to discern every matter and decide the significance or benefit each one has to our lives. God charges us to test everything and keep only the good. (1 Thessalonians 5:21)
What say you? How do we know for sure what is good or what to keep? I could probably list many examples, but Galatians 5:22-23 pretty much sums it up.
and keep self-control.
If it aligns with the above, then hold onto it.
I love a good thrift shop. I have come across many great finds at thrift shops over the years.
One [wo]man’s trash is another [wo]man’s treasure.
It’s been a while since I have visited any, but I donate often. Lately, I have found it extremely convenient to donate to the Vietnam Veterans of America, mainly because they come right to your house to pick up your donations.
This simple contribution helps me to eliminate what I don’t need while simultaneously providing for someone else otherwise.
Unlike trash, our donations have value, but that doesn’t mean we should keep them to ourselves. This also is true with the nuggets of wisdom we acquire in life through our experiences. Both good and bad.
These matters of the mind and spirit should discerningly be shared with others. (Proverbs 9:9 CSB). Consider this as one of those blessings that come full circle. Blessing someone else with anything of value is sure to give you a blessing in return.
I love the way the New Living Translation version says it…“The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” (Proverbs 11:25)
Can you remember a time when someone shared with you their experience of a similar life event? Or a time when you have shared yours with someone else? No matter which end of the spectrum you fall in such a conversation, receiving or giving, it is a priceless blessing.
Our days can weigh us down, but by intentionally and regularly decluttering our minds and spirits, we come to appreciate the true value of life. We experience all that God has for us.
Assess your spiritual inventory.
Trash anything that holds no significance.
Retain what adds value to your life.
Donate the valuable knowledge from your life experience(s) to someone else in need.