“…Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!” ― Hebrews 12:1-3 (MSG).
Mental clutter is something that most people work on for most of their lives. That is because there is something usually going on in our minds. If it wasn’t something new causing that anxious, chaotic feeling, it was something from the past creeping back into the present to haunt us. Then there are all the voices; your boss telling you to have those reports complete by Friday, or your daughter reminding you there’s cheerleading practice this Saturday, or your dad reminding you that he needs help painting the garage this week. And that clutter can overlap into our spiritual life, resulting in a kind of spiritual ADD.
Decluttering or training our mind is a good idea. Paul tells the church at Corinth: “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:1-2 ESV) Paul is telling us to train our mind by exchanging our earthly way of thinking for Christ-centered thinking.
While reading this, you might be recognizing some of these things in your own life. Do you ever feel overwhelmed and so torn between all the people and things on your to-do list that you can barely get to the things the Lord has been nudging you to do? The solution is to learn the truth.
1 Timothy 4:7 says, “Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly.” There is no substitute knowing the truth and that requires an ongoing effort to read, study, meditate upon and then put into practice God’s teachings for daily living. Many people are happy to let others such as pastors and Biblical scholars read, study and mediate on spiritual matters and then tells us what they have discovered and how to best apply Biblical truths. There is nothing wrong with that, but it is not a substitute for studying for ourselves to see what truths the Bible is speaking into our lives.
Imagine your mind as a filing cabinet. Are your files in order, or is everything chaotic? Are there things in the files that need to be brought into the light? Are there things in those files that should not even have a space in there anymore? The truth is what enables you to manage the mind. The Holy Spirit has really assisted me in discerning which things to keep, which to let go of, and which to add to the file cabinet over the years. He will give you the wisdom, truth, and the courage you need to effectively declutter your life.
- How would you rate the file cabinet in your mind?
- How can we do this week to declutter our minds?