Declutter Your Spiritual LIfe

Clearing out her basement, a clutter bug learns the spiritual benefits of letting go.

By Patricia Pusey

As appeared in

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy...but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven....For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19–21 (NKJV)

Fourteen inches of rain in twenty-four hours had left our basement—and everything in it—awash in water.  As I viewed all my stuff floating in the muck, I realized that my years of hoarding had finally caught up with me. I am a clutter bug. Everything I own seems to have some emotional connection, so I have a hard time discarding or donating things that people have given me.

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My attic, my basement, my cabinets and even my inbox overflow with clutter.  Every once in awhile I go on a tear, thinking, My children will hate me when I die and leave this mess for them! But just as quickly another thought pops in about whatever it is I’m trying to throw out: Wait...this was given to me by my niece, and if I give it away she may think I don’t value her. I know there are people who could really use my things, but still I hold on tight. 

The flood in the basement made the decision for me:  Everything had to go. And later, when it was all gone, I thought about how other stuff—unforgiveness, bad habits, impatience with my husband, jealousy toward a friend—clutters up my spiritual life and keeps me from focusing on the blessings God has for me now. If I am busy holding on to all of my stuff, then I am not looking at the glorious and free present and future God has for me.

Lord, show me what it is that is hidden, which You desire for me to discard, so that I can be out in the open, sharing with all.