May I ask you WHY you want to declutter?
Decluttering may be a good thing, but if your new minimalist goals are kindled by unhealthy heart motives, then, “Woa, Nellie!” Let’s slow down a bit here. I want to break this down for you so you can see some of the things that might be working against you in your efforts. I’m listing some “symptoms” of the heart motives below. In parenthesis after, I have named that thing that might be messing with you.
· I want to get rid of my junk because I don’t want to turn out like So-and-So (rebellion, pride, superiority, fear).
· I want other people to think better of me when they visit (fear of man).
· I want to get rid of everything from my childhood (could be wounds, bitterness, trauma).
· I want everything to be perfect and I want to feel like I have it all together (pride).
· I’m angry my life turned out this way and I want to get rid of everything because I lost my mom or I got divorced or … (grief, despair).
· Honestly, I just don’t care about anything anymore (depression).
· Maybe you’re throwing out someone else’s stuff? (revenge, rebellion, unforgiveness).
You see? Sometimes these good things we want to do are maybe a cover up. Maybe they’re our feeble attempt to deal with emotions that feel too big for us to handle. I’m not saying your decluttering motivations are bad. Not at all! I’m just asking you to take a peek inside your heart and see if you are doing ok. Check in with yourself.
You may be just fine and simply ready to have less weight when you move or you may want more room to breathe. But I know we all go through seasons. Sometimes, people deal with tough seasons by just detaching, chucking, tossing. Usually, they get through the season and kind of regret tossing this or that because it would’ve been neat to show their grandkids. Or maybe they end up forgiving So-and-So and then regret tossing x, y, and z. I know, people. It’s all tricky. Because some people deal with tough emotions in the opposite extreme and hoard or can’t let go. We may go into that one later, but I think our culture in general understands that’s not healthy. I think what my generation needs to see is that minimalism can likewise go too far.
Care for your heart. Ask the Lord to search you.
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! Psalm 139:23 ESV
Everything we do (even decluttering) is a chance to draw closer to the Lord. He knows your fears, traumas, grief, and pain. He is oh, so ready and willing to meet you there, comfort, heal, mend and redeem. Will you let Him?
I’m drawing all this out to challenge you and help you. Some of us have tendencies to go from one extreme to another. Dear friend, I can relate. (Or I wouldn’t be writing this!) I also want to encourage you today. You have been given authority by Christ. You have authority over everything in those parentheses. So don’t freak out, don’t feel ashamed, don’t let your heart condemn you. Just take note and take it to prayer.
The Declutter Prayer:
“Oh God. I hadn’t realized that my good goals of minimalism were actually coming out of a place of pride and superiority and ______. I want nothing to do with those things! In Jesus’ name, I take up the authority He gave me and command all pride, superiority, _______ and _______ to leave my heart and home in Jesus name. I will not allow these thoughts to rule in my home or mind anymore. Please, Lord, fill me with what is true. Please cloak me in humility and servant-heartedness. Where I’ve been rebelling, please help me be honoring. Where I have given into depression, please give me hope and show me where to go next for help. Where I have been motivated by grief, please see me where I am. Come to me and heal me. Wherever there is fear of man in my heart and house-keeping, I rebuke it and command it to leave. I ask you Lord to fill me instead with a holy, healthy reverence for you. Thank you Lord for being my Helper. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
You guys! You may have the most spic-and-span decluttered home or the most chaotic home, but if you just prayed that prayer, you have done more decluttering in the spiritual realm than you can even fathom. And as you know, in the physical just as much as in the natural, the clutter seems to keep coming back out of nowhere. So don’t be surprised if these things like pride or insecurity rear their heads again. Just continue to put on your armor of God and clean out all that junk! You will see and experience victory!
Maybe this isn’t a very popular opinion regarding the ever trendy minimalist state. I pray God confirms things I’m about to post. On Sunday, a friend literally just started talking about legalism and how minimalism can be taken too far. And then she says, “I’m sorry. I don’t know why I just said all that.” Well, I knew exactly why! That was the confirmation I needed! : )
Can you think of any more sneaky motivations for decluttering to add to the list?
Have you heard or read anything about the unhealthy side of decluttering? If so, let me know! I’m working on a chapter about this and would love to hear about it!
So, a penny for your thoughts?