I love spring cleaning. Hi, yes, I am confessing that here in my safe space. I absolutely love the purge of stuff. I don’t hang on to much, except this one box of stuff when I worked in baseball (shoebox size) and another small box of photos…they were these things you took with cameras and you couldn’t actually see the picture until you were done with a whole roll of film. You prayed just one came out well.
I love looking through those two boxes because they hold alot of memories and people who impacted me.
I am for the better because I purge though. I don’t like hanging on to stuff that is just clutter, that doesn’t bring value or meaning. While I enjoy clothes and shoes like a lady does, I wear out my clothes rather than leave ones with tags on them for months. Books and vinyl records I keep or accumulate if they bring to mind fondness or truth in the midst of alot of other noise.
I was thinking on this recently, the things I hold close to me that bring smiles and joy, warmth to the heart as I talked with someone about the words we tell ourselves. We heard someone share the phrase “hoarding the wrong messages” and I could not believe just how true that statement was for me. I purge so much external but I hoard messages of lies and deceit, of hurt and anger, shame and regret. Most of this is aimed squarely at myself.
In realizing this, I find that I am not alone. The wrong messages I keep on repeat are of the wrong voice. The voice sounds alot like myself, very self focused and me-centered. It reminds me of the red flags I missed in a relationship. The faults I have, the shame of a lost job. The ways I fail and the regret I easily run to instead of the truth.
The truth of the matter is that there isn’t much truth being hoarded, only the self messaging. But truth is exactly what will throw the wrong messages out. The Truth found only in His Word, spoken throughout time and repeatedly to my heart. But when I hoard the wrong things, I don’t leave space for Him to get in. To breathe life, renewal, conviction and hope.
But I choose to hoard the other messages. I choose to live into self through the wrong messages.
As I sat thinking on this, I thought about how I clean my closet. I follow the “Have I worn this in the last season?” But I don’t really apply that to my thoughts. I don’t look at them through the lens of “Is this truth I should be dwelling on?” It means I have to die to self even in my thoughts, every. single. day.
I can make that choice on so many actions but my thoughts? This is where I struggle so much. It is what leads to regret, shame, hurt, anger and deceit as we get self-focused and driven by ego/pride…driven by self. The work of our minds is the thing we are alone with the most, and as God dwells in us and the Holy Spirit fills us, we have to purge our minds of the messages we are hoarding.
I land here with Peter, nodding my head and seeking to purge the wrong messages of self and instead choose grace, the armor of God in the helmet of salvation, to use in adding truth in my thoughts.
With your minds ready for action, be serious and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
My hope is no longer set in me, what I lack or what I accomplish, what my plans are or how I have failed. No, my mind is fully alert for Christ’s revelation. A mind shod with the helmet of salvation-grace extended in an unfathomable way- that is prepared for the battle ahead, in the day, with self, against the deception. A mind so trained on truth through the protection of faith that trust in the battle is forged fully in the hope of Christ.