Wednesday, June 22, 2011

You Can't Organize Clutter!

The title of this post is especially ironic in light of the fact that my two nifty little organizing containers on my desk are stuffed full of...well...clutter. It is also a bit strange since this is a devotional post. However, my blogger mind was working as I cleaned house this week, so here you go:

We all have our own ideas about clutter. Since the definition can be so broad, I decided to look it up in the dictionary. There are actually three definitions, which surprised me a bit.

  • a disorderly heap or assemblage; litter.
  • a state or condition of confusion. 
  • confused noise; clatter.

Clutter (View to Bedroom Door)
Photo Credit
Most of us probably think of the first definition when thinking about clutter. We've seen it many times when ordering a child to clean his room! A disorderly heap can cover more than a child's floor, however. It can cover our hearts. Remember when you first got saved? Everything was beautiful. You had fallen in love with your Savior and nothing was going to take you away from Him. Your heart was clean and pure. However, gradually, although your heart may not have become dirty; it has become cluttered. Cluttered with people that aren't a good influence on you spiritually. Cluttered with ideas from the mainstream media or world-loving friends. Cluttered with legitimate things that have crowded out time for the real essentials of the Christian life.

If we would stop when we get to this point and assess the clutter for what it is, we would save ourselves much pain and trouble. However, some of us have become accustomed to "hoarding" and we begin to see the clutter as part of our environment. This will surely lead to the second definition: a state or condition of confusion. After a while of living like this, we become confused. Just what was it God wanted me to do? What does the Bible really say? Satan used this confusion tactic on Eve when he questioned, "Hath God said?" 

Sadly, many have allowed the clutter to accumulate and stayed in a state of confusion so long that now it has just become confused noise; clatter. We hear echoes of what God's Word has taught us, but the world's messages are tucked in right beside them so all we hear is a big noise. We don't know which way to go because the confusion has turned to a cacophony of sound. 

This is when our organization attempts come into play. We try to organize just what is truth and what is not. But Satan's words usually have an element of truth to them and sorting out all those messages just becomes impossible. It's like organizing that collection of happy meal toys, green army men, small game pieces from a dozen different games and assorted craft items. Your heart doesn't have the space for cheap, imitation clutter. It is only large enough to hold God's truth. 

So what is the answer? Maybe you've heard those organization experts tell you how to define what is and isn't clutter. One way is to empty the room completely of everything. After you've done that, put back the things that you really love. When the room looks the way you want it to, get rid of everything else. 

Perhaps it's time we tried this strategy on our hearts. Empty it of all the messages and put back those truths that are settled forever in God's Word. When we have the truth adorning the walls of our hearts, it will be easier to see that those other ideas just don't fit with the decor.

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