“Your attitudes . . must all be constantly changing for the better.” Ephesians 4:23 TLB.
Stuff that clutters your soul is not worth the cost of keeping it around.
My thoughts and comments today observe that “stuff accumulates.”
Last week, Gayle and I relinquished our storage unit. You know what that is, I assume. A storage unit is where you pay someone else to keep the stuff for which you have no more room. Stuff accumulates. When we examined what we had been storing, we realized that it would cost us less to replace the accumulated stuff, if and when ever needed, than to continue to pay someone to store it.
Some things there were once useful; a few things might be somewhat useful at a later time; some of it could be useful to someone else, but too much of it would not likely be needed again. Most of it ended up in the facility’s dumpster; a few things we brought back to sort or store; other things we gave away. If you own a storage facility, this is not criticism of you. You were clever enough to see a need and make a living. We paid you to keep our stuff that was not important enough to make room for at home.
In your personal life, stuff accumulates as well. And there’s a personal cost to you for storing away your collection of mental, emotional, and spiritual clutter that hinders more than helps. People accumulate regrets, hurts, unprofitable relationships, habits, sins, bitterness, fears, grudges, unforgiveness, anger, disapproval, rejection, negativism, complaints, criticism – well, you get the idea. The cost is a heaviness of heart, a dullness of spirit, deep regrets, needless worry, or a weight on your very soul. The Apostle Paul made it clear, “Your attitudes and thoughts must all be constantly changing for the better. Yes, you must be a new and different person, holy, and good. Clothe yourself with this new nature.” Ephesians 4:23-24 TLB. Constantly changing for the better; that’s a worthy, Godly objective.
Sort through the clutter regularly; don’t just store it away. Be rid of it. It’s sometimes dirty work, but it is worth it. I suggest three practical ways to change your attitudes and thoughts: to yourself, admit the need for cleansing and changing; to God, confess it; with others, correct it. I remember my friend, Campbell, saying, “There’s one certain way that sins leave you – by your sincere confession to God.” John explains how that works, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 NKJV. Jesus is faithful to forgive sins and cleanse unrighteousness, but He can’t if you cling to it like it’s something precious rather than pernicious. Read Proverbs 28:13 NIV.
Confession is much more than mere admission of wrongdoing; God knows what occupies your attitudes and thoughts. What may be hidden from others is clearly seen and known by God. It is a waste of your time and God’s to ignore or deny your sin. Confession recognizes your wrong and renounces it before God and others. Don’t defend it; don’t explain it; don’t justify it, don’t minimize it; confess it. Confession means, “saying the same thing [about your sin] as God says.” Stuff that clutters your soul – your mind, will, and emotions – is not worth the cost of keeping it around.
My prayer for you today is: be quick to confess your wrong and eager to be rid of it.