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Tuesday, January 18, 2011


My wife would tell you I’m organized. The top drawer of my desk would tell you I’m not.

In a minute or so I can find a plumber’s bill from 2003 or a phone bill from last year, but it might take an hour to find a paper clip in my desk drawer. Frankly, the drawer might serve as a visual illustration of Gehenna minus the burning. I scanned the top layer of its contents this morning and saw a couple of screwdrivers, a few postage stamps, some breath mints, pens, pencils, business cards, outdated receipts, a Canadian quarter, a few coin wrappers, paper punch, wall hook, address labels, eyeglass case, ruler, nail clipper, electronic address book, pins, lip moisturizer, a gospel tract, a golf bag tag from a Hollywood-by-the Sea course, a golf tee, several photos, a tire pressure gauge, a book of matches, a wall anchor, an eraser, several nails, dental floss, a wrapped piece of candy, a couple of old medical identification cards, and a badge that reads “God Made the Scots a Wee Bit Better.” The badge pictures a boy angel wearing a kilt. Well, if I am one of those better-made Scots, I am certainly not a better-organized Scot. Otherwise, I would not be afraid of getting pricked by a stray pin or two when I reach into my top desk drawer.

Clutter—that’s what defines my desk drawer, and it’s what so many get-organized gurus are telling us to get rid of for a better life in 2011. They might be proud of me; I plan to shred the obsolete medical identification cards in a day or soIn the meantime, it is far more important to clear away the clutter God’s Word identifies as injurious to my spiritual health. Why not search your life, as I search mine, to see whether any of the following traits are listed as clutter to be discarded? Here they are: falsehood, smoldering anger, stealing, idleness, unwholesome talk, bitterness, rage and anger, brawling, slander, malice, sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, greed, filthy language, ungodliness, worldly passions, controversies, quarrels, divisiveness, everything that hinders, and the sin that so easily entangles, favoritism, poisonous talk, bitter envy, selfish ambition, and hypocrisy (see Ephesians 4:25-31; Colossians 3:5-8; Titus 2:12; 3:9, 10; Hebrews 12:1; James 2:1; 3:7-10, 13-16; and 1 Peter 2:1).

That’s so much clutter to inspect and clear away that I won’t have time to clean out the top drawer of my desk—at least not today.