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  • Shawn Thornton

Decluttering Our Lives

Saturday - January 9th

Devotionals from the Book of James

Scripture to Read Today: James 1:21-25

Get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives.

James 1:21a NLT


After gathering a few stacks of things on my desk over the last month, I tackled sorting through the clutter of those stacks this week. I began by designating specific spots on the floor that would be the locations for various categories of stuff (throw away, recycle, take to the office, put in storage, etc.). There is something so satisfying about establishing these categories. I feel like real progress is being made. But then, the hard part starts.


It is one thing to decide what the categories will be as I sort. It is a whole other thing to determine what I will put in those categories. Decluttering isn't easy.


While I have heard of Marie Kondo and her incredible skills of reducing clutter and the amount of stuff one has, I have not pursued learning from her. Frankly, I don't want to discover anyone's philosophy of decluttering. I want to be the only one to determine what I keep and what I don't keep. I admit it. It’s a control thing.


As I think about it, the same thing happens in my spiritual life. James 1:21a says in the New Living Translation of the Bible, "Get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives." While my reaction to reading this verse is a hearty "Amen," my flesh immediately tries to convince me not to get rid of all the filth and evil. Something in me wants to leave a little thread to the lust, greed, and pride that needs to be removed from my life. James suggests that the action of getting rid of filth and evil needs to be complete and absolute - leaving no hint of it in our hearts and lives.


Getting rid of the stuff our flesh craves needs to be honest and comprehensive. It needs to involve removing sources of temptation we know could quickly lead us back into sin. That may look different for each of us.


We should consider our own history of corruption and temptation as we eliminate the filth and evil in our lives. That might mean finding ways to be accountable to others regarding our internet access. Some of us may need to end a relationship that could quickly lead us into something inappropriate. It may be stepping back from social media that brings out the worst in us regarding anger, the words we use, and how we treat others.


What do you need to remove to declutter your heart and life?


Removing sources of temptation is critical to getting rid of the filth and evil in our hearts and lives!

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