Spring has sprung! It’s time to clean out the closets and get rid of that stuff you haven’t used in years. You keep holding on to because you think this year is going to be different…but it’s time to take it to the Help Center! There’s something therapeutic about getting rid of the accumulated junk that piles up.
While you’re cleaning out the garage or the closet, think about some of the “junk” that needs cleaning out of our hearts. The Bible warns us about these things that can slowly accumulate. Take a spiritual inventory and resolve to get rid of…
Crooked and devious speech. (Proverbs 4:24) Replace these with words that build up! (Colossians 4:6)
Violence and oppression. The prophet Ezekiel said to replace them with justice and righteousness (Ezekiel 45:9).
Bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and slander need to go, according to Ephesians 4:31. Our hearts are much healthier when filled with grace, mercy, and love.
Let go of fear. God didn’t give us that spirit, but a spirit of love, power, and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7).
Sweep away “filthiness” and fill our hearts with the power of scripture (James 1:21).
Clean out the things that are enslaving you and slowing you down. Hebrews says that without this stuff, we can run with endurance the race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Paul told the Ephesians to put off the old self and all the stuff that used to define us, and live fully empowered in the new life of Jesus (Ephesians 4:17-24).
Hand writing So Many Things in To Do List with red marker isolated on white.
We live in busy times. The average American works 47 hours per week, driving 26 minutes each direction to and from work. School and sports are sponges that absorb every free second in our children’s lives. When we play, we play hard and constantly find ourselves running short on time. Since time is a finite resource, we never will be able to do everything we want to do. Retired people tell me all the time that they’re busier than they ever were before.
Here are a few ideas for spiritual development for busy people. I’d love to hear what you’ve added:
- Use lunch for the kingdom. When you take your lunch break, be intentional about using that time to serve God. If you usually eat by yourself, choose a day to eat with non-believers. If it’s medically feasible, give up a lunch break for fasting and prayer.
- Redeem your commute. Download a free audio Bible app and dedicate a portion of your commuting time to hearing the words of scripture. Does hearing the news really bring you closer to God? Doubtful. You won’t even miss it! Find a Christian podcast, audiobook, or sermon series that will teach you while you drive.
- Think about one of your chores at home or work that is mindless. Make that time a special time in prayer for something specific.
- Gospel interruptions. We are slaves of the urgent. The phone ringing interrupts our thinking—even when it’s a telemarketer. Why not plan a gospel interruption? When you plan your calendar on paper or electronically, set reminders that will pop up memory verses or a principle you’ve been praying on.
- Signs, signs, everywhere. Place visible reminder signs in front of you in strategic places that you’ll see throughout the day. Swap them occasionally when you begin to ignore them. A Bible verse on your rearview mirror might calm your commute. Using a Bible verse for a computer password might help you think before you send that email.
- Make Bible study easy. When clothes are piled on the elliptical, there’s no chance you’ll use it. Make sure that your “spiritual tools” are easy to access and visible. Give them a special home other than the floorboard of your car. Plan to succeed.
- Learn to say “no.” I’m almost certainly a hypocrite for writing these words, but that doesn’t make them any less true. Every time I say “yes” to something, I am saying “no” to something else. Be willing to say “no” to some good things so that you’ll make time for the best things.
What would you add to this list?