If I could just get organized I would… what’s completing your sentence?
…I would use my time better.
…I would really enjoy my home.
If I could just get organized, I would spend more time with God.
If I could just get organized, I would be a happier person.
The problem with this kind of thinking is that “organized” is a place you can’t get to- or if you can, you definitely can’t stay there!
Proverbs 14:1 tells us, “a wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands, the foolish one tears her down.” We can all tear down our houses with poor choices, things that keep us from enjoying our blessings and growing closer to the Lord. Then we clutter up our spirits with worries and repercussions.
As women of God, we can choose to clear out that spiritual clutter … with a little prayerful organization.
What’s keeping you from living in the joyful abundance of Christ? January is the perfect time to clear out that spiritual clutter, through your attitudes and your actions.
Stopping a bad habit can be awfully difficult, but starting a good habit can be exciting and affirming! So, instead of trying to stop doing something wrong, ask the Holy Spirit to help you start to develop a new positive attitude. A prayerful surrender to the Lord is ever so much more effective than willpower.
For example, instead of thinking I have to stop overeating or I have to quit smoking, choose to develop the positive attitude, I want to feel healthy and strong. Post scriptural thoughts where you most need to see them, like “I will honor God with my body” (from I Corinthians 6:20) and “I am worth taking care of; I am worth more than rubies” (from Proverbs 31:10). Write a short prayer to lift up during times of temptation, such as, “Lord, help me to keep my body as a living sacrifice for you, holy and pleasing. Let this be my spiritual act of worship” (from Romans 12:1).
No matter what problem you’re facing, the Bible addresses it. And there is such tremendous power in God’s Holy Word when we claim it!
We can also use a little active organization to kick-start our new good habits. First, get intentional about taking immediate action steps, ridding yourself of things that hinder you and bringing in things that will help. (For the healthy living example, this would be clearing out the cookies, bringing in the fruit, and joining a gym.) What are some obvious steps you’ve been avoiding? Choose to build your house with both hands!
Then, consider how you can set yourself up for success with cues- visual, auditory, and interpersonal reminders that will help you to live intentionally. For example, if you’d like to read God’s Word each morning, set your Bible on your nightstand so it’s the first thing you see when you open your eyes. Set the alarm on your phone or computer to remind you to put your work aside and bask in the Lord’s presence.
For a social cue, ask a friend or family member to pray for you. Then schedule frequent updates for you to share about your progress. (I would recommend that you report only your positive steps and not consider it a time to confess your failures. We’re trying to clear out your spiritual clutter, not drag it back in!)
Whatever goals you’re striding toward this January, keep them positive and prayerful. You can create an amazing New Year with God right beside you, and claim your abundant life in Christ!
Shannon Upton is a Christian speaker and the author of Organizing You: Finding Your Spiritual Clutter and Using Organization to Clear it Out. She also writes a blog about abundant living through scripture. If you’d like to start some good organizational habits with the support of your friends, Shannon offers a free six-week group Bible study to accompany her book. For more information about her ministry, check out www.OrganizingJesusMoms.com.