One of my favorite parenting books, next to the bible is a called Loving The Little Years by Rachel Jankovic. In the book she has a short chapter about the care of our bodies, she says,
“Our bodies are tools, not treasures. You should not spend your days trying to preserve your body in its eighteen-year-old form. Let it be used. By the time you die, you want to have a very dinged and dented body. Motherhood uses your body in the way that God designed it to be used. Those are the right kind of damages…We are not to treat our bodies like museum pieces. They were not given to us to preserve, they were given to us to use. So use it cheerfully, and maintain it cheerfully. You want to fix your body up in order to be able to use it some more. We should not be trying to fix it up to put it back on the shelf out of harm’s way or to try to make ourselves look like nothing every happened. Your body is a tool. Use it.”
Isn’t this just great truth?! When I use my body there are signs of wear and use and the parts that are used the most often show the signs of the most wear and require more care and attention. Other parts of my body aren’t used as often and don’t need such diligent regular care.Isn’t this the same with our homes? The parts that are used the most need to most attention and need repair the most often. There is a hutch in our kitchen that is the catchall space and it usually is a mess, in all humility, I provide a picture
The care of our spiritual house is likewise important and being aware of what the Lord sees when he sees into our hearts. Nothing can be hid from God, He sees the parts of my heart and personality that are on the forefront and used often and some parts that are hardly used at all and sitting there practically unused. What are some of the areas that could be well used or unused? Great question. How about prayer? How about Interacting God’s Word (meditating, reading, memorizing, applying)? How about Fruits of the Spirit (love, peace, joy, self control, etc.)? How about Gossip? How about encouragement? How about anger? Any of these areas can be well worn like the beautiful well worn wood handle of a hammer, or shiny and used. I need to be able to have the wisdom and knowledge about how to handle the tools that God has given me and the self control to not use some at all. The ones that are used the most are often what comes out first and in quick reach. Using the example of the hutch, there is a lot going on there! A lot of productive work, good things, beautiful things, but also there is garbage, things I don’t need anymore, things that don’t belong to me or are out of place. Colossians 3 reads,
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator
There is benefit to taking the time to “survey the land” and see what needs attention or is lacking. Take a minute and clean it out, clean it off, put it away, mail it out, repent of it, pray for it or whatever. Just take a minute and do it. Look at your life, body, home, conversation, heart, relationships and see if there are “problem areas” that might need some attention. If you are using it often there is benefit for it to be in good working order. Remember the goal isn’t perfection, signs of use are ok (and encouraged!)
Here are a few steps to get started:
- Look at it specifically and objectively (a kitchen hutch, or your mouth, or your closet)
- What IS there currently?
- What is there that SHOULD be there?
- What is there that Should NOT be there?
- Does God’s Word say anything about this?
- What changes need to be made to make it useful and profitable?
- What needs to be repaired or strengthened?
- What habits need to be changed to ensure that what should not be there doesn’t return?
- Set your mind on things above and take action
By God’s grace, we will make progress for His glory and continually become something that is pleasing and useful to the Lord through the conviction and work of the Holy Spirit.