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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Closet Confessions

Every morning when I make my bed I take the pillows and store them in my closet. This morning when I opened the closet door, my heart sank a bit. I am not a fanatical housekeeper, but I do like things orderly around me. I can honestly say that most of my house is this way....except for the closet. Shoes all over the floor in spite of the beautiful cubes with individual little spaces for each pair, things tossed here and there. It was depressing really.

The thought crossed my mind that I ought to clean out that closet while I have a little extra time at home. Then I remembered that I had planned to clean the flower bed in my front yard today. The closet really needed cleaning, but no one can see that. The front yard is seen by all.

How like our spiritual lives. Of course, the David study brought to mind the scripture in 1 Samuel 16:7, "The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." How often we worry about external appearances but do not deal with what cannot be seen on the inside. The problem is when we continually put off dealing with the internal.

Once my closet was clean - then I dumped a pair of shoes in the floor without putting them away. It still didn't look too bad, but a shirt found its way onto a shelf instead of a hanger. Then another pair of shoes in the floor, etc. Eventually, as time went on, it just got worse and worse. Now it is a mess. If you walked in my house today, you would never notice, but it is a mess just the same.

What about one little sin that we ignore or let go? Like that first shoe dumped in the floor. The next thing you know it gets easier to ignore the next one and they begin to pile up. Sooner or later, you are a mess. Oh, not on the outside. On the outside, you have it all together. You look good...you act right...you say the right things and do the right things...no one is the wiser. But all the while, you are a mess inside.

Jesus had a word for people like this. He said they were like tombs that were painted on the outside, but rotten on the inside (Matt. 23:27). I do not want to be rotten on the inside. I want my inside and my outside to be consistent. I might even be in better shape if my inside looked better than my outside.

I opted today for the yard work. It was a good choice because the solitude in the yard gave me time for some introspection. I am identifying things on the inside that need to be sorted, reorganized, prioritized, and much just thrown out. There is much I need to clean up. My closet is still a mess, but my heart is beginning to show progress. With God's help, we will get it cleaned up. And God is a great helper. If you ask for His help, He is expert at showing you what needs to stay and what needs to go. Then He helps you get rid of the trash. The challenge then is keeping it clean once I get it clean.

Who knows...maybe tomorrow I'll tackle that closet.

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