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It’s Time to Get Rid of Some Stuff

It’s amazing (and a bit disgusting) to me how things accumulate around our house. Things are brought in in small quantities then the accumulation over time results in more stuff than one should have packed away in every closet or whatever other vacant place might be found. The old excuse “I’ll keep it, I might need it one day” is usually not a good reason to hang onto most of the things we don’t need but don’t want to throw away. I do not consider us pack rats, but after more than fifteen years in the same house we have some decisions to make about what we really need to keep and what we need to part with.

Gale and I have considered some options to deal with our increasing supply of things we are not likely to ever use again. One thing we talked about was a storage shed, but when I think about that a statement that a wise old man made to me several years ago resonates in my mind: “People will spend $3000 on a shed to put $300 worth of junk in!”. There is another possibility that we discussed and it is still under consideration, but the one real solution is simple and cheap: just get rid of it!

Closets are not the only places that get filled beyond capacity; sometimes our lives get cluttered and filled with things that do not need to be there. When we stuff bad attitudes, jealousies, pride, bitterness, and a multitude of other acts, thoughts, and feelings our hearts become filled to overflowing with what is contrary to God’s plan for us. When that happens, we face the temptation of refusing to deal with it by simply trying to find ways to get it out of sight and out of mind—but it’s still there. The Bible gives us the solution in simple terms in 1 Peter 2:1: “Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind” (New International Version).

Perhaps one of the reasons we do not like to get rid of things that we do not need is because it is painful to do so. The material things that we have come into possession of can become dear to us even when they include unnecessary items of little value, so we find the thought of parting with them to be a painful one. In like manner, it can be painful to us spiritually to do away with the things that we know are not for the good of our relationship with God. The human nature wants to cling to the kind of things that Peter reminds us that we should rid ourselves of, but it is far wiser to follow his counsel and do some spiritual housecleaning.

When we begin to rid ourselves of unneeded things, we then have to overcome the temptation to fill the space with more of what we do not need. A closet emptied of unessential contents makes for a quick disposal site for the same kinds of things that were removed. Our lives, too, can become a receptacle ready to receive what we place there—whether it is good or bad; may we always choose the good!

After mentioning some things that we, as followers of the Lord, need to rid ourselves of, Peter reminds us of what that cleared out space needs to be filled with: “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation” (1 Peter 2:2).

When we get rid of those things that hinder our spiritual growth and replace them with a deep hunger for the things of God, we position ourselves to please Him and we prepare ourselves to serve Him. Getting rid of the unnecessary and unhealthy things that pile up in our hearts sounds like a great solution to me!