Junk or Treasure, Clutter or Beauty?

Do you keep a lot of stuff? Mostly I like to clean up, discard, keeping life lean and clean.  There is a program on A&E called Hoarders. It is simply mind-boggling to see the trash and filth that some people allow to accumulate. And, most sadly, some of those people, when presented with the choice, will choose their trash over family and friends. Hoarders have a misplaced sense of value and because of some trigger in their thinking cannot discard old newspapers, broken appliances, or even things like empty bottles.

washedPerhaps you do not hold onto stuff, but are thoughts, habits, and guilt cluttering up your mind, making the full life of Christ something you can only wish to own?  In Ephesians Paul writes- “…everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it!” (4:22, The Message) Don’t rush through these lines. Think carefully!

What fills up the rooms in that home called your heart? Is the memory room stuffed with yesterday’s regrets and old grudges? Is the treasure room filled floor to ceiling with dusty relics of past accomplishments that mean little today? Are habits that hinder your walk with Christ Jesus piled high in the living room? Here’s the hard question – why are you hanging onto those things?  Do you still love them? The familiar things are a source of comfort and many of us hold onto those things because we cannot grasp the security and joy that can be found in God’s Spirit.

After cataloging the ‘junk’ of sin, the Lord says, “Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11, NLT) The process of gaining the new life in Christ is a one in which we must gladly participate. He will not take away the old stuff unless we invite Him. We work with Him in the, “spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes. You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God’s likeness—righteous, holy, and true.” (Ephesians 4:23-24, NLT) God, the Holy Spirit, will give us a vision for the future, a glimpse of what we can become in Christ that allows us to let go of the stuff that has defined us in the past.  But, like those poor people afflicted with hoarding, there is a moment when we have to let go of the junk in order to own the treasure!  And, that step demands real faith.

We cannot claim to love God – with heart, soul, and spirit – if we are stubbornly clinging to bitterness, lust, materialism, pride, or self-righteousness. Where old habits that we know offend God continue to hold us, we can only come to one conclusion –  we love them still. However, when we admit that our affections are misplaced and stop offering up excuses, God will lead us to victory and freedom. The process will be painful and hard. But, what beauty emerges as we become new creations. “Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! … How? you ask. In Christ. God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.So leave the corruption and compromise; leave it for good,” says God. “Don’t link up with those who will pollute you. I want you all for myself. I’ll be a Father to you; you’ll be sons and daughters to me.” The Word of the Master, God.” (2 Corinthians 5:17,21, 6:17-18, The Message)

In a few weeks, many of us will embark on spring cleaning.  The Springtime will be a reminder to sort, clean, and discard. How about a thorough clean up in our hearts and minds?

Invite God, the Spirit, to lead you through the rooms in your heart house. Let Him remove the clutter and junk that keeps Him from moving in. “Now, the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, he gives freedom. … And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more.” (2 Corinthians 3:17-18, NLT)

Father, on this new day, give me insight to see
where I am hanging onto junk that keeps me from owning treasure.
Make my life a thing of beauty, radiant with true holiness.
Help me to carry the clutter of sin, the junk of guilt,
the refuse of ungodly habits to the Cross.

Fill my life with real treasure – that of eternal value.
Jesus let Your radiance shine from my life today.
Spirit of God, lead me, make me wise, and fill me with Your Presence.


Beautiful Things

All this pain-

I wonder if I’ll ever find my way?

I wonder if my life could really change,

At all?


All this earth,

Could all that is lost ever be found?

Could a garden come up from this ground,

At all?


You make beautiful things,

You make beautiful things out of the dust.

You make beautiful things,

You make beautiful things out of us.


All around,

Hope is springing up from this old ground!

Out of chaos life is being found,

In You!


You make me new
You are making me new

You make me new

You are making me new


Lisa Gungor | Michael Gungor

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