The Netflix series Tidying Up With Marie Kondo has women everywhere emptying out their closets and drawers and getting rid of whatever doesn’t “spark joy.” The goal is to help people clean up their clutter and get peace in their home.
I haven’t watched the show myself because I’m not a big saver anyway. Oh, trust me, I have some clutter, but I don’t like holding on to things I don’t need. Years of being a military family meant each time we moved I got rid of a lot so we didn’t have to unpack it on the other side of the country. Though we no longer deal with transferring, I still find myself regularly going through our possessions to give away things we don’t need. I’ve even posted on Facebook: “Today, if I did not marry it or birth it, if I do not have to feed it, if it is broken or does not fit, if we already have five others like it, if I had no idea it was even in my house in the first place, or if I simply no longer think we need it, it is leaving my house. That’s the mood I’m in.”
I always feel better when I’m done. You know what I mean, right? You’ve felt that sigh of relief when you’ve gotten rid of clutter, because clutter reduces creativity and performance and increases anxiety and stress. By getting rid of what you don’t use, you spend less time maintaining what you do own and more time on things that matter.
There’s a spiritual aspect to this too. In Luke 12:15, Jesus cautioned people, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
Another time Jesus talked to a rich young man who loved everything more than he loved Jesus. When Jesus said, “sell everything and give the money to the poor,” the guy walked away. See, Jesus knew that keeping his stuff was number one in the man’s life.
We worship a God “who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17). He just asks that we give some back to him and more to others. When our stuff distracts us from loving and serving him and others, then it’s time for our stuff to go—because it doesn’t spark joy.
Linda Buxa is a writer and editor. She got a Roomba for Christmas, which declutters the floors for her every single day. Plus, she’s doing a pretty good job of keeping the counter clean too.
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