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Spring Cleaning!

A few weeks ago, I was driving into the Hope parking lot and as I entered, I noticed one of our rock beds that has trees in it. I realized some dead branches and acorns scattered amongst the rocks. I tend to love yard work and outdoor projects because I see unshaped or overgrown things spruced up and beautiful again. So obviously, I decided to take on these trees and the rock bed. I ended up spending around 2 hours trimming dead limbs, raking out fallen debris and acorns, and separating rocks to put back in the bed. By the time I was done I had four large trash bags of debris and a huge pile of sticks to throw away. But, the bed looked revived and refreshed!

There is something about getting rid of all the clutter, dead, broken, messy stuff. Whether it’s your yard, garage, closet, or flower bed, this time of year motivates us to work on our Spring cleaning! I’m sure you have at least one of those projects on your mind right now. But for some reason there are times where we just push that to the back of our to do list. We let it linger longer and longer until finally, it becomes so urgent that we can’t ignore it anymore and it becomes a two-day project!

I’ve noticed the same thing seems true of my spiritual and emotional health. I have this sin, whether it be anger, bitterness, jealousy, etc., that dwells in my heart. I ignore it for a while, convince myself it will deal with it later or it may magically disappear! (We wish right?) But then a little while later I realize the pile of sin has grown, until finally it explodes all over those I am closest to. What could have been a quick and honest conversation becomes a fight or pain that is weighty and burdensome.

Paul writes in his letter to the Church in Ephesus about living different. Being holy amongst people who are clearly not. And he charges them with direction in how to live this out different from the world.

Ephesians 4:22-24
22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Hope’s mission as a Church is to “Bring People Closer to Jesus”. Part of that is beginning to learn to put off those old things, to make way for the new. When we start to identify our sinful patterns, make quick work of repentance and asking for forgiveness, we make room for something far more beautiful than when we let it sit and fester. I speak not from a place of success in this, but humble failure! I long to be regularly one who repents and apologizes, rather than lets the dead things grow.

What things in your life are dead and need to be removed? It’s the season of Spring Cleaning, don’t let it build to the point of weariness, but seek forgiveness, turn and seek Jesus, the one whose burden is light and yoke is easy.

Ben Griffis