Luke 9:23-24 Then He said to them all: “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will save it.”
I’ve gotten the clutter bug. I don’t know what has done it, but it has come on full force. Maybe it is because you kids are starting to move out and I don’t need as much stuff as I once used to. Maybe it is the fact that I see lots of household items sell at auctions and don’t want to leave someone else with a huge job of cleaning out. Or maybe it’s just because I can think better when things are organized and clutter free. Whatever the reason I have been on a rampage to eliminate all unnecessary belongings.
We all gather stuff and need to purge once in a while, but some people have a real problem with collecting and keeping things. These hoarders continually buy and stock up on items they think they might need. Some buy because they think they have found a bargain and want to beat the system. Others are fearful and want to be prepared for an emergency. In my experience hoarders seem to buy multiples of the same thing, tucking them away unopened for future use – only most of the time the items never get used. In extreme cases they get lost in the wall of boxes that grows and grows until the hoarder’s house is packed from floor to ceiling with only small pathways connecting each room. What a suffocating existence!
The funny thing is when the time comes for family members to dispose of all the merchandise, the expense of doing so greatly outweighs any savings the hoarder may have thought he had. While they thought they were saving money, they were actually losing it.
Though most of us are not uncontrollable hoarders with our physical possessions, many of us do hoard our personal lives. We do everything we can to protect and preserve ourselves from any kind of subservience to others. We are even afraid to give complete control of our lives over to Jesus because we think He might send us to Africa or some other place that would be contrary to our personal desires. We fear we might be called to suffer or do without things that the world calls necessary. We want to save ourselves from uncertainty and pain so we try to control the situation to the best of our ability.
But just like a hoarder, we never realize that by trying to save our lives we lose them. By giving up our right to control, accepting God’s will for us, and living for Christ’s sake as opposed to our own, we actually receive what we are all longing for – to be who we were made to be. Though we will have to bear our personal cross, God does not leave us alone in the struggle. He is with us each step of the way comforting, providing, and molding us into the perfect versions of ourselves. Even in the difficult times He brings joy and peace as we fully rest in His inexhaustible wisdom and power. He promises to bring us through and finish the perfect work He has begun in our lives.
So guess what? I’m letting it all go! I’m tired of all the clutter because it’s inhibiting my quality of life. But I’m also working on decluttering my heart. If you want to follow Christ, you must deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Him. So don’t hoard your personal desires. It’s time to get the clutter bug and let God take complete control. Because if you lose your life for Him, you will actually save it.