I have been in a major purge mode lately as I prepare for our move later this year. Everything I own is on the chopping block it seems. And if you are a local friend in a certain Facebook resale group, you can totally attest to my random postings (old kids shoes, platters, my Christmas tree… nothing is safe). I realize I’m not moving in the NEAR future, but near enough that I would rather be prepared for what’s ahead instead of feeling like I’m simply moving my mess from one house to the next. So I purge. And purge. And purge. Because while not all of these things I’m selling are really inconveniencing me all that much, there are certain things that are really causing me some anxiety. Too much of a (good or bad) thing is just that… too much. And I’m happier without some of it. Or at the very least, the thing itself wasn’t making me happy, so its absence from my life is a better thing than its presence. You know what I’m saying?
There are other things, too. Non-material things. Things that are cluttering my life. Things that are making me feel a certain way or infiltrating my thoughts, uninvited. Things that I wear around like a weighted vest and not only allow to burden myself, but ultimately burden others vicariously through me. Things that I should purge. FOR INSTANCE. I have an app on my phone that gives me data about another certain social media app I use. I downloaded this app when I was on my big wanna-be-a-blogger kick (a kick I have since kicked – this here blog is nothing more than a shared journal of my thoughts anymore). It was recommended that you have this app to track growth (and loss) and other stats that were not provided by the social media site. So I had it, and I developed a bad habit of checking it. Often. And what I saw on it burdened me. It pressured me. It corrupted my motives. It started to possess my thoughts and my actions and plainly, I hated it. But it took me until just today to purge myself of it. So I Prayed & Purged. I prayed that God would take control of my thoughts and that He would release me from the burden of this fact-hub app that was fueling all of my insecurities. And then I purged. It’s gone. Forever. For good.
What is it in your life that’s burdening you? Holding you in a pattern or a place that is less than what you know the Lord has for you? Maybe it’s an addiction. Maybe it’s a person. Let’s practice praying & purging.
“Lord, you are the God of my body. I pray that you would take control of this food addiction I have and that you would obliterate the thoughts of self-deprecation and replace them with the thoughts of self-love that you intend for me to have. Into your hands I commit my mind and my body.” Now go empty your pantry and purge the junk.
“Lord, this person is no good for me. We aren’t meant to be. But I know you love her. I pray for peace to come over her and for there to be no animosity between us from here on out, but I pray we will benefit from separation until a time you see fit to reincorporate our lives. Until then, Lord, remove the distractions from my life that are causing me low self esteem and let us both continue with our lives, amicably apart.” Now go and hit that unfriend button. It’s ok. God didn’t make you (or me) to be everybody’s friend. He made us to love one another. But sometimes our best bet at loving someone in a Godly way is to stop watching their every move and casting (or receiving) judgement.
Pray and purge. Pray and purge.
But you can’t purge without the pray (and I’m not referring to your sock drawer, you go ahead and just clean that out, in the holy name of Jesus). If you purge without the pray, you’re missing the point of asking God to take control over The Thing that is burdening you, and now you’ve removed The Thing, but your motives are wrong. And what happens when you endeavor to do something with the wrong motives? It isn’t God-ordained! Let’s take my example of a relationship. Let’s say you’ve been laboring with a relationship at work that just isn’t appearing to be beneficial at this point. So you take matters into your own hands and say “Y’know what? I’m done. I’m never speaking to that person again.” Now you will be a) consumed by the drama of your declaration because drama follows human decisions around like Pepe Le Pew’s signature scent, and b) you’ve just slammed a door shut on something God may have wanted to bless. At the very least, by praying over it first, you could have alleviated some conflict in the break room when you inevitably bump into that person getting your coffee refill. If you pray first, you are asking God to take control of the past, present and future of that relationship, trusting that He knows what’s best for both of you because he loves both of you.
And here’s another free tip on the matter: if you have to ask yourself if The Thing is worth keeping in your life, it’s probably not. See below:
That extra winter coat that I haven’t worn in a few years.
That friend who cuts me down or damages my self esteem.
That second (or third, or forth) drink.
That status symbol.
If you even have to ASK, then you probably know the answer, right pals?
Pray and purge. Pray and purge.