An early morning still reflection of trees in a pond and clearing clouds...symbolic of how we can feel when our heart isn't clinging to things

By Jeanne Takenaka

Last week, I shared about how I retooled my “junk/project” room into a creativity space. Purging stuff from our homes can become addictive. The physical work of being intentional and clearing things out is freeing. It got me thinking . . . what about when our heart clings to things? What kind of stuff has cluttered up that internal space?

It’s one thing to purge in our homes. It’s another to purge within ourselves. How do we clean out the crowded spaces inside?

A boy standing at the edge of a wave rolling into shore

I’m going to get a little nosy today. I’ll ask for forgiveness in advance. And, if I hit a nerve, stop and ask God to show you what He wants you to see inside you.

Please believe that I am asking myself these same questions. I’m the last one to point fingers at these tender issues we each deal with.

3 Things Our Hearts Cling To:

SCHEDULE

How many of us run around all day long, doing things, making appointments, shuttling kids from one activity to the next, and filling every spare moment of our time? 

Unsettled ocean waves are a reminder of how we feel unsettled when our hearts cling to things we shouldn't

If this is a tendency you have, ask God to show you what drives you to do this. If you’re really brave, ask Him to strip away any excuses you’re using to justify this pattern in your life. What need are you trying to fill by staying so busy?

Not that having a full schedule is a bad thing. It’s just that if we stay overly busy for too long, we burn out and become worn down. 

When we don’t have white space in our days, the noise of too much activity makes us deaf to the Lord’s promptings and to hearing the words and directions He is trying to share with us. 

Meme with the words: "The noise of too much activity makes us deaf to the Lord's promptings." On a backdrop of a wave rolling onto a sandy shore

When we’re too busy to engage with Him, we run on our own strength and we will wear out. It’s not an “If”, but a “When.” It will happen.

Psalm 90:12—“So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

When we are intentional about how we spend our days, we gain wisdom.

FORGIVENESS (or not)

What stuff in our hearts have we held onto that we no longer need?

An overcast beach with some people in the water, a reminder of how we become clouded inside when our hearts cling to things like unforgiveness

Are we clinging to unforgiveness like some sort of lifeline? Do we justify certain words and actions because we’ve held onto a past offense? 

Let’s get honest. Unforgiveness only leads to bitterness. And bitterness leads to all kinds of destruction . . . physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. 

Footprints running away from oncoming water on a beach . . . when our hearts cling to things like unforgiveness we run and end up feeling bitter

What about wounds that have been pricked, scratched and bruised over the years? I’m working my way through some of my own wounds.

Maybe it’s time to hand these to God and let His healing begin within us. 

It takes humility to admit to God we haven’t trusted Him with these wounds. Either we’ve doubted He could heal, or we’ve been afraid that He would do so in a way we didn’t want.

A wave crashing into rocks reminds us how we feel internally when our hearts cling to things it shouldn't

FEAR

How many of us have been hindered from doing something because we were afraid? Do you see me raising my hand? Fear has held me captive for too long. 

Fear of rejection. 

Fear that I wasn’t good enough. 

Fear that I wouldn’t be able to do that thing I desperately wanted to do. 

Someone defined fear as:

False

Evidence

Appearing 

Real.

When we filter our decisions through fear, it clutters our minds with lies and half-truths. It films our eyes in a way that whispers we can’t do it. Fear deceives us into thinking doing “that thing” is all on our shoulders. 

We forget that God gives us dreams, callings, responsibilities. But, He also enables us to fulfill them, when we walk with Him.

And just like when waves crash on rocks and dissipate, our fear will evaporate when we think on God’s truth.

Meme with the words: "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." @ Timothy 1:7

Cling to this truth. God has given us power. He has given us love. And He has given us a sound mind. A sound mind is not clouded by fear. It is solid in its beliefs and about Who empowers us. 

We need to trade in fear for trusting God. 

One footprint at the edge of an oncoming wave on a beach. When we deal with fear and our heart stops clinging to it, we can face things

There may be more things occupying the shelves of our internal closets, so let’s consider those next week.

What about you? What questions about purging physical spaces do you have? What Bible verses help you keep fear in check?

Click to Tweet: It’s one thing to purge in our homes. It’s another to purge within ourselves.

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