Fresh Hope – 3rd May 2018

I had been perusing the shelves of a bookshop, looking for a new read when I came across Marie Kondo’s ‘Spark Joy’. The subtitle read,‘The Life Changing Global Phenomenon – 5 Million Copies Sold’. I learnt this book was on the seemingly trivial topic of TIDYING! Marie has taken her childhood passion of tidying and organization and made a highly successful career. Marie’s core philosophy is that we should only keep in our home that which “sparks joy” in us. Anything else has to go! And she is ruthless about it! She has strong evidence to support the fact that an unkempt, junk-filled home hinders creativity, efficiency, inspiration, growth, and health of mind. She shares amazing testimonies of how people’s external lives have radically changed, as they have committed to clearing, and bringing order to their internal world – their home.

If the art of organization, letting go of junk, and tidying is a global phenomenon, proving to enhance people’s homes, minds, and lives, then  how much more is there value and joy in letting go of all the junk in our hearts?

Letting go of the junk in our hearts isn’t just a one-off job. You wouldn’t say to your spouse, “Sorry Darl, I cleaned the house in 1996, it doesn’t need to be done again!”. (Actually, some of you have probably said that!). You may have purchased the house, but clearing, culling and cleaning are regular necessaries for the maintenance of the home. Likewise, Jesus has saved us once and for all, but it is necessary to be regularly assessing the wardrobes of our hearts and culling the junky attitudes, baggage, misconceptions, and lies when they crop up. If I have a wardrobe full of excess clothing, there isn’t room for anything else. I don’t have space for anything fresh or new. Likewise, when our lives are cluttered with things like unforgiveness, jealousy, or fears, there isn’t space for the good stuff – we can’t let in new people, new ideas, the voice of God, joy, and peace.

Recently married, and on the cusp of moving overseas, I myself am in the process of trying to cull my entire life into a 30kg luggage allowance. Right now, I have two very full garbage bags of clothing that are going to donation sitting by my door. If I am to move into the next season of my life, I can’t be taking those old clothes with me. There frankly isn’t room, and I can’t afford to be taking so much baggage. It’s time to leave that which isn’t adding value behind, so I can go forward.

As it says in Hebrews 12:1, ‘Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles’. To throw something isn’t a passive action. The verse doesn’t say, ‘slowly and carefully put that which hinders you away in a junk drawer or random bag at the back of your cupboard until you decide what to do with it’. NO! It urges us to THROW, meaning, be ruthless, to propel with FORCE! Be forceful about throwing off and outthe things in your life that don’t add value, that don’t add joy, that hinder you, and block out the good stuff! Do what it takes to find freedom and wholeness. Get out the garbage bags, ask the Holy Spirit what needs to go, get a friend to help, do whatever it takes to make that space!

Ephesians 4:31-32 “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.