Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How Clean is Your Heart?

     What is your definition of a clean house? I have learned that my definition changes. There is the ‘last minute’ clean. If you are like me, this is your normal clean. Someone is coming over and the house is messy, so I run around picking up, dusting, vacuuming, and lighting candles: candles always makes things seem cleaner. I am usually doing the last little cleaning when the door bell rings! Then there is the ‘I can’t stand it anymore clean’. This is the clean that takes me a few good hours. It is when I pick up the clutter, clean the toilets and sink, shine up the mirrors, do the laundry, etc. When I am finish with this kind of clean, I always say, “This house hasn’t been this clean in a long time”. Then there is the ‘bare all’ kind of clean. I am thankful this only happens occasionally because it can be painful and time consuming. When we put our last home up for sale, I thought my house was clean. However, I needed to get it ready to show buyers. I had to look at things with a more critical eye. I had to clean dust boards and sweep into corners. I touched up the paint on the trim and I cleaned ceiling fans. Worse of all, I had to do the dreaded closet clean out! My closets were so cluttered, you had to be ready to play the game of ‘open and catch’. That is when you open the door with one hand and get in position with your other hand to catch something falling. My closets looked so small because they were packed full of stuff that should have been discarded long ago. Because things had not been removed and things had been thrown in, the closets were in total chaos. Closets are often the forgotten, hidden trash piles. The only way to clean them is to throw things away. When I am done with this kind of cleaning, I always say, “This house hasn’t been this clean since we moved in!”
     Cleaning house reminds me of how we maintain our hearts. When we invited Jesus to come and live in our hearts, we did some last minute cleaning. We made it look clean and presentable and hoped that He didn’t notice the areas that needed a little more cleaning. We feel pretty good that everything looks clean and we become comfortable. Then through time with Jesus, we realize that we have some “I can’t stand it anymore cleaning” to do. We spend time cleaning the deeper things. We feel better and enjoy this clean heart we have. The problem is Jesus does not want to live in a heart that is not totally clean. He wants the ‘bare all’ kind of clean. He wants to deal with the dirt in the corners, the chips on the walls, and the hidden and forgotten closets full of trash. He wants to help you rid the chaos of these closets by discarding things that should have been gone a long time ago!
     How clean is your heart? What does the walls of your heart look like? What have you swept under the rugs or thrown in the corner? What hidden and forgotten things do you have in your closet? Is it clean enough that you would let Jesus open your closet doors? What kind of clean are you expecting Christ to live in? Maybe it is time for some deep cleaning! Maybe it's time you let Jesus clean up some areas of your heart that you haven't let Him before.

He is going to clean house - make a clean sweep of your lives. He’ll place everything true in its proper place before God; everything false he’ll put out with the trash to be burned.”
Luke 3: 17


Sara said...

My closets may be clean, but this is not always the reflection of my heart. I tend to hide things in the folds and the corners of my heart and distract them so much they blend in. Maybe it is time for a clensing and I don't mean in my closet, though it could be a little thinned out.

Steph said...

One of my New Year's resoulutions was to clean out our closets...I have done 3 out of 4. I suppose my heart could use a little spring cleaning as well.