Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  ~ Psalm 51:10

Lately I’ve been on a personal mission to go through our closets, drawers, and the kitchen pantry to clean things out.  We’ve lived in this house for eight years, and in that time have accumulated too much stuff!  My progress has been slow, but I’m getting there, and in this time of economic down-turn, it feels good to sort through our unused items and put things aside that others could use.  However, much of what I discard is just junk and needs to be thrown away. 

Our souls need spring cleaning, too.  Over time we accumulate too much stuff.  We take in too much information and junk-food-for-the-brain.  We hold onto negative thoughts like guilt, doubt, resentment, frustration, anger, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, feelings of unworthiness…and the list goes on.  Eventually all that junk starts piling up.  Just as I restored order to our kitchen pantry, we can renew our spirits by doing a little spring cleaning for our souls.

Not only has it  felt good to clean up and reorganize closets and drawers, it’s also been fun to rediscover useful things that I forgot we had! Many of these things had gotten pushed to the back and hidden behind the junk that started to accumulate. 

The same thing happens inside us.  We have good and wonderful qualities, traits and characteristics that get pushed back into the recessions of our souls by the intruding negative junk mentioned above.  

So how about a little spring cleaning for your soul?  What junk is piling up?  What negative and useless thoughts need to be cleaned out and thrown away?  More importantly, what good things need to be rediscovered? 

Just like the items I set aside to give or donate to others, we each have God-given gifts and talents that need to be shared with others, too.  Often they get taken over by the ‘junk’ that settles in our heads and hearts. 

I hope you’ll take some time to sort through the storage places of your soul to throw out all the junk and make the most of the good things inside you.   Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.  ~Romans 12:2

Here’s a few thought-prompters to help you get started:

What negative thoughts and feelings are piling up inside me?  Do they hold me back?  Why do I hold onto them?  How could I benefit from throwing them out?  How might my loved ones benefit if I throw away these negative things?  

What good things are hiding inside me?  What interests, gifts, and talents are sitting unused?  How might I use those things to do good for others?  Or to serve the Lord?   Do not neglect the spiritual gift that is within you…   ~ 1 Timothy 4:14

What blessings have become forgotten or unnoticed?  How can I use those blessings to bless others? 

Dear God, So often we fail to see all the ‘junk’ piling up inside of us, let alone realize how those things are affecting our lives or keeping us from making the most of the good things You bless us with.  Please help me do some spring cleaning for my soul so my spirit can be renewed (Psalm 51:10).  Help me throw out the junk so I can rediscover the good things inside me.  More importantly, show me how to best use my God-given gifts, talents, qualities, and abilities to please You and bless others.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.