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Kia Stephens

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March 25, 2017

How to Declutter Your Heart

March 25, 2017 | By | 24 Comments

My home was mostly white walls and floors when I got married.  We had each other and a few pieces of mismatched furniture salvaged from my husband’s bachelor days.  Now 13 years and 2 kids later we are busting at the seams with stuff:  old furniture, sentimental knickknacks, and a host of forgotten toys.   

We need to declutter and deep clean in that order.  And although I have high aspirations I am not sure it will happen at the magnitude with which it is needed.  Honestly, it may not happen at all.

Sometimes our hearts are like this: cluttered.

It happens over time, not immediately.  Maybe it starts with a misunderstanding, or a betrayal.  Time nurses a wound like a newborn baby and before you know it, bitterness is fully grown and hanging out in our hearts.  

It might begin as a dream: an innocent desire of becoming great. But obscurity ensues deferring the dream indefinitely.  What we want does however happen to our neighbor in grand fashion. Without realizing it, this opens the door for jealousy and envy to creep into our hearts.

Overtime these unwanted stowaways collect dust and seemingly become unrecognizable.  Thus, there is a potential for our hearts to be ridden with memories, hang-ups, guilt, sin, and the like.

I call it heart clutter.

This collection of unmentionables is nothing you want to sell on Facebook.  In fact, you don’t really want anyone to know you have it – not to mention how long it has been there.  But it happens, doesn’t it?

If we are not careful our hearts can become like double sided tape picking up things with increasing ease.  And with the advent of spring I’m reminded it is not just my home that could use a deep clean; it’s my heart too.  Especially for those spots I’ve overlooked or ignored: unintentionally or on purpose.

God is not a surface clean God.  He’s never duped by our outward appearance.  He, better than anyone, knows that no human being is exempt from needing to declutter our hearts.  Even David, described as a man after God’s own heart, asked God to examine the contents of his soul in Psalms 139: 23 – 24 (NIV).

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

His prayer gives us three practical steps to follow in decluttering our hearts.

#1 Ask God

David courageously asked God to conduct an internal excavation.   This was a brave request considering God knows all things, even that which we hide from ourselves.

And though the combination of our mind, will, and emotions may look like a long overdue garage sale, He is not hesitant to delve inside.  He is not repelled by the complexity of our soul.  Fully aware of the sum total of who we are, He delights in us.

God’s deep dig encompasses that humiliating middle school experience, our family function and lack thereof, personality quirks, life purpose, deeply ingrained fears, sin, bad habits, and HORMONES (need I say more).   With abundant wisdom He gets us.

#2 Listen to God

David not only asked, but was prepared to listen to all that God would reveal to him about his heart.  This was evident by his words “See if there is any offensive way in me,”  David wanted to know God’s opinion of who he was at his core.

Have you ever asked a question you really didn’t want the answer to?   I have.  Ashamedly, I’ve even bitten the head off the person I asked.

If we choose, like David, to declutter our hearts we need to be prepared for what God has to say about us.  He may ask us to part with a piece of ourselves we feel intimately connected to.  Though it may be difficult, we can rest in the truth that God’s love is extravagant.   

Scripture tells us “For the LORD disciplines those he loves. . .” Hebrews 12: 6 (NLT)

In love He prunes our hearts:  eliminating those things that hinder our growth.  Gently he persistently prompts us to release the jumbled hodgepodge of clutter we’ve accumulated.  Because he created us we can trust He has a purpose when He says “Let it go.”

#3 Follow God

David ends his Psalm by saying “. . . Lead me into the way of everlasting.”  If you are like me, sometimes I think I am a shepherd rather than a sheep.  Foolishly, I get confused into thinking I can do a better job leading myself; but I can’t.

This is futile because a self-led person is headed for ruin.  It is better to be led by God who sees our beginning and our end.  If He can speak to the waves and bring peace then he can speak to the clutter in our souls and bring order.  We must surrender to Him: believing His infinite understanding of who we are is far superior than our finite perspective.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Comments

  1. “God is not a surface clean God. He’s never duped by our outward appearance. He, better than anyone, knows that no human being is exempt from needing to declutter our hearts. Even David, described as a man after God’s own heart, asked God to examine the contents of his soul in Psalms 139: 23 – 24 (NIV).”

    Absolutely love this! And it’s funny, I posted this as my daily verse on Instagram the other day 😊 You’re absolutely right. No one is exempt from needing to ask the Lord to show them their heart and help them get all of the junk out of there! Sometimes, there’s so much sin (anger, malice, jealousy, unforgiven essential, etc) we leave just hanging out there. We’ve pushed it down, tried to bury itheir, and pretend it’s not there.

    It’s there, but so is the Lord ready to help us clear it out.

    Thanks for posting! Your imagery and the way you write is absolutely beautiful!

    • Thanks Alisha. Glad you got my sense of humor. Sometimes my melancholy tone tends to overshadow it. 🙂 I truly appreciate your encouraging comments and I am so glad you joined the conversation today. Be blessed – Kia

  2. I so needed to read this today. I know these truths, but sometimes reading them and being reminded of them helps me to really own them. And I need that.
    Heather Hart recently posted…An Open Letter to Christian WomenMy Profile

    • Heather I’m glad this post encouraged you too. The only way I could write it is because I too have needed this post countless times. Thanks for joining the conversation and be blessed my friend! – Kia

  3. That’s a good way to look at the unwanted dust that enters our hearts as clutter. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Marcee. Clutter seems to illustrate the point succinctly. Glad you joined the conversation today. Be blessed! Kia

  4. So so true! Search me and try me, O God and lead me in the way everlasting! Yes, Lord! Great post, friend!
    Liz recently posted…Masterpiece Monday – Dr. JasonMy Profile

    • Thanks Liz. I’m praying that prayer daily. The heart can be oh so tricky. Thanks for joining the conversation today and be blessed! – Kia

  5. So practical. I often find myself in need of both house decluttering and heart decluttering. When I start to feel the adrenaline of anxiety rising within I know it’s a telltale sign of my need for heart decluttering . Visiting you from testimony tuesday

    • I’m in need of both too Naomi! Thanks for joining me on the blog today Naomi and be blessed. – Kia

  6. Great tips!! And we definitely need to declutter our hearts as often (or more often) as our homes!

    • I would be on the more often side! I need to declutter minute by minute :). So glad you joined the conversation today Sabrina!. Be blessed my friend. – Kia

  7. I love this! I am a lifestyle blogger who often blogs about decluttering every area of your life. I’ve talked about decluttering the house (duh!), your schedule, and even your mind. This is so true that we need to declutter our heart. And once it’s decluttered, we can fill it back up with God’s love and truth. 🙂

    • Good point Sheila! I did not include what should be added into the heart once it is decluttered! That would be a great follow-up post. Thanks for joining this conversation and be blessed! – Kia

  8. This is a great analogy. None of those cluttered spaces do us any good. Time for spring cleaning in both areas

    • Thanks Mardene, I’m am reminded often of how much I need to maintain a decluttered heart. When my heart is cluttered my relationship with my heavenly Father is impacted most. This post was a great reminder for how I need to live. Thanks for joining the conversation today my friend and BE BLESSED! – Kia

  9. What a great way to think about this. I love that—declutter your heart .
    Thanks for such a meaningful post—this is going to help me all day.
    jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com
    #christianblogger

    • Awesome Jodie, glad to assist you as I assist me. We can all declutter together! So glad you joined the conversation today my friend and be blessed! – Kia

  10. This is great advice, Kia. We often want that decluttered home–and heart!–but don’t want to do the clean-up work to get there. “We need to be prepared for what God has to say about us.” It’s not easy, but I’m grateful that God is patient with us as we wade through our clutter to reach out to him. Thanks for sharing this.
    Lisa notes recently posted…5 Books I Recommend – March 2017My Profile

    • Ooooh I love this imagery Lisa “wade through our clutter” YES!!!!!! And wade I am but God is so faithful no matter how much I declutter and re-accumulate. Isn’t that amazing! Honored that you stopped by to join the conversation today. Be blessed! – Kia

  11. A few years ago, I decluttered my house while reading “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” Once I cleared my physical space, I realized how much my heart needed clearing out, too. The physical stuff was just distracting me from all the spiritual stuff. Thank you, Kia, for breaking down this verse and showing me how to do some spiritual spring cleaning.
    Melissa Wentzel Horan recently posted…4 Steps For A Better Prayer: Confession: ACTS SeriesMy Profile

    • Melissa, you’re speaking truth friend! The physical does have the potential to distract us from the spiritual. I think it is an issue with my vision. I sometimes believe that is more important, but scripture has already told us “man looks at the outer appearance and God looks at the heart”. Isn’t it such a struggle to focus on the invisible? I love your comments and I am truly honored you took the time to join the conversation today. Be blessed! – Kia

  12. Kia,
    More sound advice, my friend! We’ve just got to keep uncluttering our hearts, as well as our physical lives! Thanks so much for sharing this hope at #MomentsofHope, sweet friend!
    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

    • Hi Lori,

      Glad to link – up with you this week. I need to declutter often. It is remarkable how much can accumulate if I am not vigilant about the condition of my heart. Thanks so much for joining the conversation today and be blessed! – Kia

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