Welcome to Spring!
Today marks the first day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere! We are eagerly looking forward to the days when warm gentle breezes replace the frigid blasts of winter.
What do you think of when you hear the word Spring?
Tiny buds on tree branches? Sweet smelling blossoms? Spring Allergies? Spring Cleaning?
Ah yes, Spring Cleaning!
Martha Stewart in all of her fabulous perfection says there is nothing more satisfying than annual spring cleaning. I would have to say while growing up, my Mom also agreed! As teens, our Spring weekend agenda was preplanned. Mom’s idea of a productive Saturday morning included Murphy’s oil soap, an old rag, and Pine Sol. Every nook and cranny from the kitchen to the bedrooms were destined to be spotless. Floors were mopped, bathrooms were sanitized, and counters were scrubbed clean.
As a teen, my strategy for cleaning was simple. I wanted to get my chores done as quickly as possible so that I could pursue my own plans. That strategy included cramming things big and small into the closet. Handbags, t-shirts, sandals…all hurled into the closet. I wanted to deal with organizing all those things later. My objective was to make the room look clean. Though the fresh bed linens were tightly tucked and the carpet was lint free, Barbies, backpacks, and books were all tossed in the closet, safely hidden from Mom’s sight.
How many times in your life have you hidden things in the closet?
Issues that you don’t want to deal with – in the closet.
Bad habits that you know you need to address – in the closet.
A difficult conversation that you know you need to have – in the closet.
Your life looks immaculate and you seem to have it all together, but there are a few things out of view that need cleaning.
Your Personal Spring Cleaning Plan
Here are three things you can do to Spring Clean your soul this season:
1. Start with your heart.
If you have tucked away hurt, resentment, or anxiety – ask God for His help. He can remove the clutter from your heart if you are willing to give every issue over to Him. We cannot clean ourselves in our own strength, but the power of the Holy Spirit will help us through our process. He will restore a right spirit in us and cleanse our hearts (Psalm 51:10).
The word of the Lord also reminds us that we should guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:23). This means that we should be careful of what we allow to enter into our hearts. If left unaddressed, bitterness, anger, and unforgiveness can completely destroy the health of our spirits.
2. Repent from pride-protected sin.
Take some time to get brutally honest with yourself. Deep down you know the sin in your life and the things that you struggle with that may separate you from God. Proverbs 28:13 reminds us that if we confess and forsake our sins – not hide them – we will find mercy.
Though sin may not be visible to the naked eye, God can clearly see the cubby holes where we attempt to protect our secrets. Psalm 90:8 reveals to us that God has placed our unjust ways before Him and our secret sins are visible in the light of His presence.
Don’t ignore the “small” sins you may not think twice about. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal things that you may overlook. Once the issues are made known to you, be open and honest about confronting it. Seek out an accountability partner to help keep you on track as you walk through your process of deliverance and turning away from sin.
3. Watch your words.
As you begin to declutter your heart, the heart will be reflected in the words you speak. Luke 6:45 reminds us that the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Our words reveal what we believe about ourselves, our circumstances, and about others. Filling your heart with the truth of God’s word will help you to change your thoughts, and as a result, the words you speak will also be changed for the better.
Replace any negative speech with positive confessions. For example, if you have a financial issue, instead of saying “I’m broke,” say “God shall supply all my needs (Philippians 4:19).” Likewise, instead of saying, “I’m confused,” say “God has given me a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7).” Your speech must align and agree with the word of God.
So, What’s the Play Call?
Spring cleaning is not just about cleaning our kitchens, re-organizing bedrooms, or bettering our relationships. It’s an opportunity to take an honest look at our lives and the areas where we may have fallen short. The things that we try to tuck away from the view of others – God sees clearly.
Be transparent and open before God. Allow the light of God’s presence to shine into every hidden space and you’ll have no need for a yearly spiritual Spring cleaning! Instead, choose to experience a daily moment of refreshing for your spirit.