Spring is in the air! The time of the year for fresh start and new beginnings—and with spring comes spring cleaning!
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably already watched Tidying Up and let Marie Kondo teach you how to clean until your home sparks unspeakable joy. Thousands of people have already started digging through their closets and finally decided that this is the year to get rid of those parachute pants. And while it is important to clean out your closet, and it is time to let those old pants go, there’s more to spring cleaning than sorting through your old stuff. Spring cleaning can apply to your spiritual and emotional self as well.
Spiritual spring cleaning can be a simple exercise, provided you’re actually ready to get rid of the things you’ve been holding on to. Fasting, praying, and taking an inventory of all things spiritual in your life are just a few of the ways that one can begin to simplify. The Bible gives us a handy guide for all the things we should be focusing on, and if we’re following that guide, we know just what to get rid of too. “Whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is honorable…” So when you take that spiritual inventory, ask yourself: is this thing pure? Is it lovely? It usually doesn’t take much soul-searching to determine what makes the cut.
Emotional Spring Cleaning though, at least for me, is a bit more complicated. What does it mean? What should I actually be getting rid of? When I start to consider all of the ways my emotions dictate my actions, it’s clear that a cleanup is desperately needed. But where do I start?
I wrestled with the idea of emotional purging for a while, and it really comes down to this: will this thing matter tomorrow? In a week? In a year? Ten years? It’s much easier to not become emotionally invested in something that will quickly fade from importance. And with the emotions I hang on to from my past, I ask myself: does this guilt/shame/anger/confusion give me peace? The answer is almost always a resounding NO.
With both considering the wisdom of Philippians 4:8 and discerning what things are truly important, I have found that I am much more able to roll with the punches. I don’t get bogged down with nonsense quite like I used to. That’s not to say I’m perfect—no I’m far from it—but I am on my way to becoming more like Christ with every conscious decision to let go of things that I don’t need. In this season of Spring Cleaning, I hope you also find yourself able to let go and find the peace that God so deeply desires for us.