There comes a time to clean out the old to make room for the new. And this spring cleaning is not just for our homes. It is needed in our personal lives and growth as well.
We don’t put clean work clothes on over sweaty gym clothes, for example. And no amount of cologne is enough to mask our odor if we do. Removing the sweat and grime allows our fresh goodness to be fully received.
Our growth calls for us to put off resentment, anxiety, and pride – and to put on compassion, courageous patience, and humility.
When things don’t go our way or people don’t live up to our expectations, it’s easy to become irritable and bitter. We are more likely to blow up at others or check out from relationships when we are filled with resentment.
When worry and fear fill our hearts, we might become restless trying to control every aspect of life. This anxiety chokes out our relationships. Relationships cannot thrive when filled with anxiety.
Pride leads us to become cynical and dismissive. We start to look down on others and assume their concerns are unimportant. Rather than considering ways to love, we are concerned only with our own comfort and wellbeing.
Compassion allows us to feel with the heart of another – to be deeply concerned for their wellbeing. Even when they frustrate and make us mad, compassion allows us to respond to their need more than their faults.
Life is an adventure, with many twists and turns along the way. And with so much out of our control, we must adopt a courageous patience along the way – patience to trust as things remain unsettled for a time, and the courage to keep taking that next step in faith.
Humility reminds us to think rightly about ourselves – neither looking down on others or ourselves. God has given us each a dignity to be honored. Remaining humble frees us to fully love and be loved.
This putting off and putting on is an ongoing process. It’s needed year around, if not daily.
Don’t let the old stink up the good you are trying to embrace.
It’s time for spring cleaning!