The next statement may seem cliche, but I absolutely love the clean-slate feeling of the new year. January 1st rolls around, and we are presented with the blessing of a new page one. We made it to another year. Praise God! Granted, every day we are above ground could be viewed as page one; however, I like to use the first of the year to set significant personal and professional goals, evaluate the last twelve months and assess the ways I can improve in the coming months.
Basically, the new year is a time to declutter and purge as we commit to new resolutions and try our best to leave unproductive ways in the past. Well, the same way we declutter the tangible items and habits in our lives is the same way we should aim to spiritually declutter, too. Decluttering, in the spiritual sense, shines a bright light on the roadblocks in our relationship with God and within ourselves, leading to self-realization so we can move forward with stronger faith.
Here is a list of three ways to spiritually declutter in 2019.
Practice forgiveness and acceptance
The pains of betrayal, hurt and heartbreak can run deep. These wounds have the potential to turn into long-lasting feelings of bitterness, fury and resentment, and when you hold on to those feelings, you are creating less space for Christ. Declutter your spirit by granting forgiveness to those who have hurt you, even if those folks have not asked for your forgiveness. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32). Through Christ’s power, we are given the ability to forgive and be forgiven, so we must always remember that we were born with everything we need to forgive those who have hurt us. As you forgive, you will feel God’s love compel your spirit in a renewed way.
Life tends to be busy. Errands, work, school, family, goals and several other items crowd our plates; however, how often do you stop to listen and be still? The act of being still is pertinent to spiritual decluttering because without taking time out of our hectic schedules to listen to His voice, we cannot receive peace or His guidance. Do not be intimidated by silence. Welcome this deliberate quietness into your life. “He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth’” (Psalm 46:10).
Remove old patterns
If you truly want to develop a stronger relationship with God and rid yourself of the weight which holds you back from living your best spiritual life, you must let go of toxic practices and behaviors. Being a Christian requires change and not just one change on a one-time basis, but continual change. We must remove old, toxic practices and develop new, spiritually productive habits. Thankfully, the Bible is the ultimate source of guidance for self-improvement. “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24).
Spiritually decluttering your life may seem a bit daunting because the workload has the potential to be heavy, but the good news is that Christians have strong motives for change, and that’s due to our awesome Lord and Savior! Believe you will spiritually declutter and improve through Christ’s strength. His power will never fail you.