My dad always told me that confession is good for the soul. Maybe… But it can also be very bad for the reputation. Even so, I’m risking my reputation with you by letting you in on a little secret.
Ready? Here goes.
I have an obsession with the burners on my stove. I’m driven to keep them spotless and gleaming.
Now that I own a gas stove, this dysfunctional issue may not require therapy, but it wasn’t always this way. I once hovered over the burners on my electric range—the pans, rims, and surface beneath were all targets of my compulsion.
Now, before you put me on your prayer list, let me explain.
For the first 13 years of marriage, Phil and I lived in homes with cooktops corroded by years of careless cooking and half-hearted cleaning. I valiantly scrubbed but to no avail. I replaced old burner pans with new ones, but I was never satisfied because under those gleaming burner pans lurked the grimy gunk from decades of apathy and neglect.
Then in 1999, we moved into a 20-year-old home with a 20-year-old stove. Oh, thoughts about those burners filled me with dread. They probably hadn’t been cleaned since 1979!
I had a responsibility to my obsession—I mean, my family—so I lifted the coils to inspect. When I felt the rims, the pans, and the surface beneath, I was stunned.
They were spotless! There was another woman as obsessed as I was.
I was so grateful that I ended every cooking excursion by lifting the coils to clean them. I removed pans and decontaminated underneath each time, even when I only boiled water. (Okay, maybe I should be on your prayer list!)
I’ve learned something from my obsession, though. Keeping something clean is easier when you tend to it daily. The same is true with our thought closets.
Yep, between your ears and beneath your hair, you have a thought closet. It is full of everything you say to yourself. And what you put in your thought closet is what you will wardrobe your life with. So, our thought closets need daily attention to keep them in the condition Christ intended.
God declares that all has become new (2 Corinthians 5:17)! That means the old, grimy gunk is gone and you are clean, renewed, and fresh.
Sometimes, though, our thought closets can get awfully cluttered. What God made “new” can become dingy and neglected. When this happens, it’s easier to find ourselves struggling with self-loathing, negative attitudes, and accepting lies as truth.
So, how can we keep our thought closets new and clean? Here are two ways we can tend to them daily.
1. Talk truth to yourself
We must tell ourselves the truth about who we are and what we have in Christ. Scripture says that our newness comes with a beautiful life wardrobe.
- A new heart (Ezekiel 11:19).
- A new song (Psalm 40:3).
- New mercies (Lamentations 3:22-23).
- A new spirit (Romans 7:6).
- A new self (Ephesians 4:24).
Do you lack or have you neglected any of these “new” belongings?
If so, talk truth to yourself. Speak out loud to your soul statements that reinforce what God has given you: a new heart, a new song, a new soul, new mercies. That’s one way you can keep your thought closet new and clean.
2. Wake up your soul
In Psalm 57:8, David told his soul to “awake” in the midst of his failures. The Hebrew word “awake” in used 65 times in the Old Testament. It means to rouse oneself, incite, or to stir up.
Sometimes we become sleepy and apathetic toward some of our poor choices and negative attitudes. Instead of keeping our eyes open to such things, we tend to neglect careful daily cleansing. We grow accustomed to the grimy buildup that coats the surface of our souls.
When we tell our souls to “awake,” as David did, we become alert to our own grim and are amazed by God’s grace.
To stay spiritually alert, we can’t have dimly lit thought closets. There’s too much risk for dirt to gather, and it won’t ever show up if it’s too dark in there. The light must be bright.
The light we need is God’s Word. When we read His Word, meditate on it, and memorize it, we flood our thought closet with truth to fight the lies.
Let’s keep our thoughts closets new and clean by tending to them daily! When we do, we become the humble recipients of God’s amazing grace.
What truth from God’s Word are you going to speak out loud to yourself today?
This post originally appeared on JenniferRothschild.com and was republished with permission.
Jennifer Rothschild has written 14 books, including the bestseller Lessons I Learned in the Dark and Me, Myself, and Lies. She’s been featured on Good Morning America and Dr. Phil and is the founder of Fresh Grounded Faith events. Jennifer became blind at age 15 and now helps others live beyond limits.