The Conundrum Of Clutter

  By Bob Brubaker  |  

It’s a rarity to find a person who does not have any clutter, the truth of the matter is we are a society that is given to much clutter. Consider how few garages are actually used to park cars or the number of storage units rented because people don’t want to deal with the clutter of life. Here’s how Jesus talked about the subject:

Luke 12:15–21 (ESV) — 15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” ’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

What happens when we accumulate clutter? Nothing! Just like in the parable that Jesus told, the rich man said to himself, “relax, eat, drink, and be merry.” Actually, the word about clutter is that it leads to procrastination because the more you accumulate the harder it is to deal with it so it’s easier to just put if off. As Peter Walsh put it, “later is the best friend of clutter.” The downward spiral doesn’t stop with procrastination because as things accumulate so does a feeling of guilt for not dealing with it which drives toward the feeling of depression.

How can you get off this “out of control” train called clutter, especially when we realize as it rolls down the track, it can cost about 20 percent of our annual budget?

Implied in Jesus’ parable about the rich man is the solution, rather than focus on endless accumulation our focus should be on what matters in life, “being rich toward God.” That means we live under the rule that God is the owner of all things and we are merely stewards. As a steward of God’s riches then we must be faithful in making the most of our time, talent, and treasure. Just look at what He says about knowing even the condition of what He’s placed in your hands:

Proverbs 27:23–24 (ESV) — 23 Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds, 24 for riches do not last forever; and does a crown endure to all generations?

Let’s face it clutter robs us in many ways. It robs us of the joy of being a good steward of what God has placed in our hands. Clutter robs us of the momentum to get things done as it allows procrastination to rule our lives. Above all, clutter can rob us from further blessings as our faithfulness can be called into question.

Luke 16:10–13 (ESV) — 10 “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. 11 If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

What can you do? Begin with a “spring cleaning” of one area of your life, bring organization, get rid of what is not used, and allow the momentum to move you on to another area. The good feeling you’ll find is a God-honoring feeling of being faithful, otherwise to allow clutter to abide is to allow a silent ruler over you that continues to say, “later.” That’s a conundrum you just don’t need.


Bob Brubaker

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