“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” —Psalm 51:10 (ESV)
Spring is a time to start fresh—to wash windows, sweep the doorstep and purge your closet.
Sometimes our spiritual lives need a deep cleaning, too. As you refresh your space at the start of this new season, don’t neglect the space inside—your very soul, the core of who you are. Here are three questions to ask yourself as you take a spiritual inventory.
- What needs to go?
Let’s be honest, some things should go straight to the trash. We’re talking broken, falling apart, cobweb-covered this and that’s we probably never should have owned in the first place. Think of a tucked away box that hasn’t been opened in ages. That’s what our sins can be like. We harbor all this guilt and shame over past mistakes and hide them away in the untouched corners of our hearts, never to see the light of day. What if we unpacked all that baggage and laid it before God? What if we actively turned away from our sins (that’s called repentance), and said, “Here you go, God. All the broken pieces of my life are yours now.”
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
God is ready to give you a new start. Take the first step by seeking His forgiveness and asking for His direction as you move forward in your newfound freedom.
>> Maybe you’ve given your sins to God, but how can you know for sure He’s forgiven you?
2. What can you give away?
It can be daunting, but also gratifying, to pare down your possessions. So often, we hold onto things we haven’t used in years because maybe we’ll need them one day. Or we feel an attachment to something and can’t bear to release it to the donation pile. But those things have a tendency to bog us down and clutter our lives. In the end, it feels good to let them go. So what part of your faith life can you give to others?
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” —Matthew 5:14-16
As followers of Jesus Christ, we aren’t supposed to keep Him all to ourselves. He commands us to share His Good News with others. Think of someone you can talk to about Christ’s love for us. Ask a friend to become a prayer partner, or read the Bible to someone who’s unable to. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to mentor a new Christian. Look for ways to serve as Jesus would serve.
3. What needs some love?
Don’t worry, you don’t have to let go of everything. Perhaps the pillows just need to be fluffed, the shelves dusted or the universal “junk drawer” reorganized. Our spiritual lives can usually use some tidying up, too. Think of all the letters the Apostle Paul wrote to churches about keeping the faith. It takes work, he told them—constant energy to get along, set a good example and generally be faithful to Christ. There’s no shortcut to a relationship with Jesus. It takes time and effort—elbow grease, you could call it.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” —Deuteronomy 6:5
Whether your faith life needs a fresh coat of paint or total renovation of the heart, there’s no better time to jump in than now. Start with one thing at a time—maybe it’s alone time with God, spending time in the Bible or treating others as He would. Wherever you begin, remember you’re not spring cleaning alone. God Himself can help you cut through the spiritual clutter in each area of your life.