So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 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. Ephesians 4:17-24
The other day I was flipping through Netflix looking for a new show to binge watch. In my search, I accidentally hit the enter button at the wrong time and Tidying Up with Marie Kondo started to play. For those of you who aren't familiar with this hit show, the synopsis for it is as follows: In a series of inspiring home makeovers, world-renowned tidying expert Marie Kondo helps clients clear out the clutter -- and choose joy.
Five minutes into the first episode I knew it was a mistake. I had to resist the urge to start chucking everything into black trash bags and purge all of my belongings. I looked around my living room, began to panic and wondered if I secretly was a hoarder. I knew this wasn't the case.
For the most part, I'm generally a neat person, but I had to admit that our family had accumulated a lot of "stuff" over the years. Kids toys my girls had outgrown. Clothes that were either too big or too small (thank you yo-yo waistline). Books upon books collecting dust on a shelf. The list goes on and on. I had just got used to the clutter.
I came across a review of the show that struck me as indirectly insightful about life, faith, and especially our identity in Christ. It said Marie is "brilliant at making what has previously seemed to be an ordinary, serviceable way of life seem lacking, drab, unjoyous." A ordinary and serviceable way to live. If that doesn't encompass how many of us (myself included) tend to deal with our old self and old way of living I don't know what does.
Over the years the clutter we've collected are the lies we've believed about ourselves, shame we've held onto, and struggles we can't bear to part with. It's all we know. We've learned to maneuver around all the disorder and get through life. We've given the disarray the power to define us. It hardens our heart to the point that it's hard for us to see ourselves in any other way.
The only thing that can open our eyes to the true state of our world is an encounter with Christ. He renews our mind and transforms our heart. Christ not only can declutter our mess, but He can also leave in its place unshakeable joy and life-fulfilling purpose. He hauls the junk of our hurt, pain, shortcomings, and failures to the curb where they belong. Christ offers a new way of living - one that entails a minimalist mindset where we realize He's all that we need.
What parts of your old self do you wrestle with taking off? What would it look like to put on your new self in this area?
God, thank you for transforming my life. I will give You access to my jumbled mind and cluttered heart. Give me eyes to see that You are truly all I need and that Your grace is always sufficient. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.