"Take these things away! Do not make My Father's house a house of merchandise!"―John 2:16, NKJV
As a child, I shared a bedroom with my older sister. She would clean up her side of the room and then "graciously" give me the things she no longer wanted. Later, when her side was neat, she would turn and fuss at me because my half was cluttered. Today, we reminisce and laugh.
My oldest daughter will be the first to tell you I keep a clean house―much to her chagrin while growing up. However, as I "mature" and my energy dwindles, I am frequently tempted to shutter the clutter. More times than I care to admit, I give our house a lick and a promise, and then I renege on my promise. From a visitor's vantage point, our house looks put together. Just don't open the drawers and closets, nor, heaven forbid, the attic. Doing so may resemble comedy shows of yesteryear, when opening a closet door is met with an avalanche of junk and canned laughter.
Today, TV reality programs, which showcase hoarders, serve as entertainment. However, hoarding is neither entertaining nor laughable. An excess of clutter in our homes may be the symptom of a deep psychological disorder. Hoarders not only cling to things of value, they cling to mounds of things which have no value at all. Most of us cannot wrap our minds around this type of thinking, and yet; the reality is, we often replicate it.
There are days I mentally shutter the clutter. I hang on to thoughts of no redeeming value―thoughts which in the long run will prove harmful. I shelve grievances from the past and hold on to an orderly list of offenses―all signs of a serious spiritual malady.
In the temple, the Scriptures tell us, even Jesus did a bit of spring cleaning. He rid the temple of its clutter with zeal as he overturned tables and tossed out the money changers. He had zero tolerance for things that would desecrate his holy place. Zero should also be our threshold of tolerance for all that desecrates our body: the temple of the Holy Spirit.
Spring is the season of renewal. As the last dead leaves of winter give way to fresh buds of new growth, we too are able to shed all that reeks of death. Fling open the shutters. Reveal what is hidden; expose it to the Light. Now, BREATHE. The moment we rid our temples of sinful clutter through confession, Jesus removes it as far as the east is from the west, never to bring it up again.