Reflection for Today:
Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.- Hebrews 12:1
Although we have been in our present home for just over five years, there are still some boxes in the loft that need to be unpacked. I must admit that I have opened most of them but was unable to decide what to do with the contents, whether to keep them or dispose of them. So, they are still there. From time to time I go up to the loft to try to sort things out. I try to decide whether an item is worth keeping, whether parts of it might come in useful some time, whether it may be of use to someone else, or whether it should just be recycled or binned.
I am sure that I am not alone at being surprised at the amount of stuff that a family can accumulate over the years. Some of it may not hold any significant value or have any purpose for keeping it. A careful evaluation of such items needs to be made to decide whether there is any valid reason for holding on to these items. There are valuable heirlooms, family archives, seasonal items such as Christmas decorations and picnic chairs, suitcases, toys that the grandchildren may like some time, and old electrical equipment which might be needed as a standby.
Our minds can be a ‘loft’, containing a great amount of stuff. Some of it is useful, some not. Some can even be detrimental to our spiritual growth and our walk with God. Memories of past experiences may result in certain mind sets and attitudes which are stored away and can influence the way we act or react to circumstances now. These could be a help and encouragement, or they could be a hindrance. It depends on the nature of those experiences.
Past hurts, rejection, abuse, trauma, and isolation can cause us to hide away things in our mind such as anger, a sense of injustice, and a desire for revenge. All this unhelpful clutter needs to be brought to Jesus. He is the only one who can help us dispose of it and renew our minds, by His Holy Spirit. Paul writes in Ephesians, ‘Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes’ (Ephesians 4:23, NLT).
The writer of Hebrews encourages us to get rid of those things which weigh us down and hinder our progress (Hebrews 12:1), and Paul, in Philippians, instructs us what to make room for and keep in our minds: ‘Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise,’ (Philippians 4:8, NLT).
May the Lord help us to have uncluttered minds, so we can live lives which are pleasing to Him.
🙏 Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for all the good thoughts I have of the things You have done for me and given me. But I am so sorry for harbouring thoughts in my mind which are not right, and which are contrary to Your will and purpose for my life. Please help me to identify what they are and bring them to You. Then please show me how to dispose of them. Amen.
(✍️ by Malcolm Wood )