Dr. Randy Carlson
When we hear the word “clutter,” we immediately think of our closets, garages, basements or the trunk of our car. We think of the things we collect.
I have some statistics that may surprise you.
- Twenty-three percent of Americans pay their bills late because they are not organized enough to get them paid on time.
- $1 billion in gift cards were not used in 2014, because people couldn’t find them.
- Ten percent of Americans rent storage lockers. That’s okay if we’re moving to a new place, but many of us have storage lockers because we can’t fit all our stuff in the garage, the basement or in our closets.
- $10.05 billion a year is spent in America on plastic storage bins. It’s a huge industry just to store stuff.
- We spend 55 minutes every day looking for stuff that we know we have, but we can’t find.
- $182,000 a year is paid in library fines, per library. That’s a lot of lost books.
- According to research, all of us could have at least 20 percent more space in our homes if we got rid of the stuff we don’t need.
I like to define clutter from an Intentional Living standpoint as anything we have in our lives that’s littering the path that keeps us from living out God’s intentions. The Bible is a declutter book. It’s full of wisdom to help us declutter our lives.
- When Jesus sent the 12 disciples out, He said for them to take nothing for their journey (Luke 9). He very clearly instructed them neither your staff, bag, bread, or money and bring only one tunic. He did that because He wanted them to be dependent on Him, not upon all the things they planned to take with them.
- Care, worry and problems can easily clutter our lives. Jesus encourages us to take that stuff and place it upon Him. “Cast all your care on him for he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). If we can get our minds off the stuff that we see and start to perceive the things He sees, we can begin to live an intentionally decluttered life.
- Our lives can easily become cluttered with disagreements with others. “Agree with your adversary quickly” (Matthew 5:25). We can get caught up in tension, problems and relational issues, and the scripture is clear that we should declutter our lives and go quickly to our adversary and deal with the problem.
- Debt can quickly and easily clutter our lives. Proverbs 22:7 says, “The borrower is servant to the lender.” Businesses across America work every day to help those who are desperately trying to get out of debt because they feel the bondage of financial clutter.
The Bible is very intentional in terms of how we are to think, manage our emotions, relate with others and live our lives – not in perfection but in trusting God through faith. I pray each of us will carefully examine our lives and remove anything from the path we’re on that keeps us from living out God’s intentions.
So, today I ask you, “How much space can you create by removing clutter in your life” and “Will you do it?”