Does it spark joy?

When we moved together after our wedding, our room was filled with topsy-turvy things that include my clothes, her clothes, gifts and many more. My wife decluttered my cabinet and threw all the outgrown clothes and trashes (believe me those were not trashes for me but for her? I don’t know). She organized everything. But still we could not reached that level where we are satisfied with the outcome, so out of a little desperation, I decided to wind up and checked our netflix. There is this one popular show called tidying up with Marie Kondo, a youtube professional organizer who has taught thousands how to fold clothes and arrange drawers. I never imagined folding clothes can be your profession.

We learned 5 steps, she applies in keeping a house organize but what I was thinking is that we may be orderly or successful in our career, school, family, church or home but do we truly care about our SPIRITUAL LIFE?

Marie kondo has 5 steps in tidying up that can be applied to our spiritual life. Here we go:

1. Commit yourself to tidying up

First step is to commit! Decide whether you truly want to clean up or not. This is also the first step in cleaning up our spiritual life.

One of the negative traits that Spanish Colonials have handed the Filipinos is the Ningas Kugon, this habit makes one person to be initially zealous and active but then later on these good traits will not continue. Most of the times we linger in this habit, we like to do good at the start but eventually we get tired. I’m afraid if you will start tidy your spiritual life, you will only run for what? a couple of days? a month? or a year? Remember, Christians runs the race, complacency does not run in our blood. If you really desire to grow and be mature in Christ, commit to it until the end. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Putting Psalm 37:5-6 into action: “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.”

This means that you will commit to maintain the tidiness of your spiritual life but you will leave everything to God, it is His job to make everything in order and rewarding. Always return the things to where they belong.

“Clutter is caused by a failure to return things to where they belong. Therefore, storage should reduce the effort needed to put things away, not the effort needed to get them out.”

-Marie Kondo

2. Imagine your ideal lifestyle

Setting up goals this time! Know your desired outcome and stick to it. Defining what you would want to become will dictate your actions. Think about what kind of life you want to live, but always remember that your ideal life is a life that glorifies God in every aspect. Your character must always be stronger than your circumstances. Our best example for this, is Jesus Christ, so imitate Him.

For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps,

1 Peter 2:21

3. Finish discarding first. Before getting rid of items, sincerely thank each item for serving its purpose.

Gratitude. Admit it, you do not do this all the time, gratitude does not always resonate in our Christian life. Gratefulness is the antidote to so many destructive feelings like jealousy, hatred, selfishness, egotism, greed and many more.

Are you waking up everyday full of thanksgiving to God? or you just panic because you always wake up late?
Are you expressing your gratitude to others by words or deeds?
Are you modeling gratitude to your family? to your church?

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

4. Discarding by category, not by location

In #KonMari method there are 5 categories that you need to go over with to declutter unnecessary things you have hoarded for a long time. You can also apply these categories in order for you to start decluttering unnecessary loads that affect your spiritual life.

Clothes, Books, Papers, Komono (Miscellanous), Mementos (Sentimental Items)

Most of these items are easy to acquire, I mean who doesn’t want to have new clothes every once in a while or every month or two? Collect items that make you remember moments in your life? Or school plaque and medals that will make you proud of achievements? These are the things that are difficult to let go.

Marie has this strategy to pile all your items by category and put it in one place, go over and touch them one by one and feel if it sparks joy, if it is then you can keep it, if it’s doesn’t declutter it.

Do you hoard items that you think you still can use but years after still it is just sitting around and consuming some space in your house? Imagine your heart is like your house, do you keep something that you think useful and consuming space but still you are holding up in hopes that someday you will get that something into use? Shall we say “grudges” or “bitterness” or “anger” that you are keeping there in the little space of your heart and you can’t declutter because you still want to hoard them even though it consumes most of what suppose to be consumed by the things that will make you grow spiritually.

Someday will never come!

Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:31 told us to let go of bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. These are the things that do not spark joy in our spiritual life.

Our being is composed of body, soul and spirit that are linked together and harmonious to each other but contradicts at times. We are complex beings and this is how God designed us. We must always be clothed with the righteousness of Jesus Christ, because He is the only one who can hold this 3-part whole together. Throw away those that cannot keep your tripartite being to function in a harmonious way.

5. Follow the right order.

Hone your ability to do right things in the right order. Maybe you would ask me, “How can we know if it is the right thing to do?” My answer would be start opening and reading the Bible. God’s word is the light unto your feet and a lamp unto your path. Allow the word of God to influence your decisions and actions.

In the present century, we live in the world where it instills us the philosophy of individualism. “You can do whatever you want as long as you don’t hurt anybody”. Anybody includes nature, animals and other living things. For Christians, doing the right thing isn’t just an occasional moral dilemma, it’s a way of life.

Jesus warned His disciples that this type of rigorous spiritual discipline would cause many to give up and turn back to the broader pathway of doing things “my way” instead of the “right way”.

Righteousness is defined by the Scriptures, not by what we feel or think. Jesus said that man lives by God’s word (Matt. 4:4), not his own desires. Doing right according to God’s word is the right way to do right.

Remember keep only the things that bring joy to Jesus Christ!

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