Keith Wishum: Look around. Is it time to clean house?

Published 4:44 pm Friday, December 9, 2016

If you are at home or in your office, take a slow look around. Is it crowded? Do you see more than a few items that should have been thrown away already?
You are not alone if you find yourself a bit consumed by clutter. To write this, I had to dig my keyboard out from under six uncased CD’s, an outdated printout of upcoming concerts at an amusement park, a used printer cartridge, and (worst of all) one slightly used handkerchief (not mine!).
The club of clutterers is huge and growing. According to, there are now more than 52,000 self-storage facilities in America – where we pay someone to house the stuff we want out of our house. There are now more storage facilities in the U.S. than McDonalds (14,350), Walmarts (5,229), and Starbucks (11,962) combined. That’s on top of an increase of 600 square feet in the size of the average house since 1960. Obviously, we collect clutter.
Some of what we collect is intentional – things that we genuinely want to keep. But much of what fills our houses and covers our desks is useless stuff that we just haven’t gotten around to clearing away. It piles up. It multiplies. And it gets in the way.
The same may be true of our spiritual houses. It’s easy to have a collection of character traits and habits that we never intentionally chose. They slip in unnoticed, and we fail to clean them up. For example, I never meant to become blunt with my words and critical of others, but I’ve seen that clutter creep into my life at times. It needs to be cleared away regularly.
It’s a healthy practice to take stock of the clutter that needs to go. Have you picked up some bad habits along the way that you never meant to own? Are there some undesirable aspects of your lifestyle that you’ve been meaning to jettison? Or, maybe you’ve just become less diligent about developing into the person you want to become.
Perhaps it’s time to clean house. God advises, “But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips” (Colossians 3:8).  Such traits may creep into our lives. They need to be thrown out.
Look inside. Is it time to clean house?

A Word from Williams Road is provided by the Williams Road Church.