In my previous blog about Seeking God’s Order, we talked about how our world is obsessed with new media exposures highlighting the function and dysfunctions of life, either well-organized or the extreme hoarding cases on TV. Given the myriad of organizing books out there, I’m always left wondering why anyone would have a hard time figuring out how to get organized. There are a million and one reasons why people can’t deal with the overload in their lives, be it stuff, activities, or the mental perception of time; as my clients put it, “cluttered brains equal cluttered rooms.” So let me raise the question:
Is clutter really a faith issue? Does God have anything to tell us how to finally–once and for all–deal with our internal and external clutter?
After 18 years as a professional organizer, I have found that both kinds of clutter create distance between those closest to you and your relationship with God. As Christians, we know that God desires day-to-day intimacy with us. So yes, your clutter could be the obstacle that keeps you from the abundant life God has already provided. Luke 10:27 reminds us to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind” and to “love your neighbor as yourself.” However, a disorganized lifestyle suffocates existing relationships, while clutter has a way of isolating us from building new ones.
Many miss the blessings of fellowship simply because of the embarrassment a cluttered home evokes. Worse, a disorganized life can put God at a distance. Because of the many distractions that clutter creates, we are tempted to love and treasure things rather than God. And as clutter suffocates our spaces, it also prevents God from releasing blessings into our lives. In other words, a clutter-filled home erects a wall between God and us. If the sum of all laws is rolled into Luke 10:27, then we must take to heart the importance of maintaining and creating healthy relationships. I believe this so strongly that my ministry tagline reads, “Blessings, not stuff!”
In my bible study workbook Organize His Way, I outline why we as Christians must live an orderly life. One reason is your ability to hear God. Ever walk into a room and hear it screaming at you? John 8:47 states, “he who is of God hears God’s words.” But though hearing from God is paramount to your progress as a Christian, clutter can shout over every attempt to hear His still small voice. It is difficult to still the mind and hear God under ordinary circumstances; it is next to impossible when stuff is competing for your attention. Many of my clients say that when there is too much clutter in a given space, it creates “visual noise.” I can promise you with 100% certainty that when you pray in a clutter-free environment, your ability to hear God’s still small voice will astound you!
In our struggle to free ourselves from the entangling net of clutter, we may lose sight of another important factor; it’s not about us. Above all, Jesus demands that we love Him more than anyone or anything—that we follow Him, trust him, enjoy Him, be satisfied in Him, delight in Him, and obey Him. So while the world screams for us to take on ever more stuff and activities, I pray that we can all take a lesson from John 3:30: “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Our greatest joy in life is walking out the purposes that God has laid out for each of us.
I pray His mighty blessings for you this summer that you may begin to hear His voice and foster a deep and meaningful relationship in your newfound clutter-free mind and space.