March always reminds me to refresh and renew my home. It is something about the springtime that puts a spring in my step to clean all the clutter from the winter.
Spring cleaning is good for your health. A survey I read a few years back in the Reader’s Digest said that 20 minutes of house cleaning can cut stress and anxiety by 20 percent.
Other psychological studies say that spring cleaning or decluttering promotes better sleep, more productivity and improved moods. Cleaning out our closets, drawers, garages, or work desks does the body good!
Yet, are these places the only areas clutter accumulates? What about our cluttered thoughts that freely flow in our heads?
What about the bitterness, anger, sorrow or guilt that congest the soul? What about the disappointments and displeasures…the sin habits and sin failures we so readily hold on to?
Is it necessary to refresh and renew – to spring clean these hidden things?
Absolutely! One of my favorite scripture is Psalm 51:10, “God, create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
In this honest request to God, David gets real about his inner heart. He needs a spring cleaning from the Lord. What has brought such contamination?
Well, if you recall, King David had committed a grievous sin of adultery by sleeping with Bathsheba even though he knew she was married to Uriah – one of his loyal soldiers fighting in a war (2 Samuel 11).
When David found out Bathsheba was pregnant, he attempted to cover up his sin with deception and ultimately with murder. (Sounds like a spin off from one of today’s scandalous television shows!)
Sadly, David thought his horrendous sin was hidden until God exposed it. This is where Psalm 51 comes in as David cries for God’s mercy. “Create in me a clean heart O God!”
The word create means “out of nothing.” There was nothing in David’s heart that God could use. David prayed for God to spring clean him to a completely new heart with new passions and a new purpose to follow hard after him.
We spend so much time and money decluttering our spaces at work and home that sometimes we neglect to declutter the spaces in our heart.
Have I accumulated lots of sin? Am I ignoring the stacks of unforgiveness, unresolved anger, or unnecessary guilt piling up in my heart?
It’s time to do some spring cleaning like David. Ask God to de-clutter the hidden spaces and fill them with his peace that guards our hearts and minds (Phil. 4:7).
Yet, once we spring clean, we sure want to keep it that way – with the Lord’s help of course!
Last year I did some much-needed remolding of my kitchen. I had fun recreating my outdated space. And in the process, I reorganized my pantry, cabinets, and drawers – 10 years’ worth of stuff. This was tiring work, to say the least.
I am on a mission to safeguard my kitchen from the clutter bug, but of course this has no eternal value. Safeguarding a renewed and refreshed heart does. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
In this passage, the “heart” does not refer to the physical but the spiritual. The heart symbolizes our personalities, our reasoning’s, the fruit of our actions, the center of where everything we do, say, think, originates.
We are encouraged to guard our hearts freshness and newness. We do this by using the one proven cleaning agent…God’s word.
Have you taken time to declutter and spring clean your heart? How much time do you spend in the Bible each day?
God knows our hearts can become cluttered sometimes. But, there is no excuse to keep them that way!
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things (Philippians 4:8).