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Does it bring you joy?

'Tidying up' our closets and to-do lists — even whey they're full of ministry tasks — can help us draw closer to God.

I’m the type of person who enjoys being busy. 

What I’ve learned, however, is that when I overfill my schedule with places to be and things to do, I miss out on the opportunity to enjoy those things. Rushing around leaves me feeling tired and, on the worst days, resentful of my ever-expanding to-do list.  

Often, my lists are full of good things — even things that are ministry related, acts of service to God. However, when I spread myself too thin, service becomes a burden. 

“Does it bring you joy?” That’s the question everyone around me seems to be asking themselves.

“Does it bring you joy?” That’s the question everyone around me seems to be asking themselves. 

They’ve jumped on the KonMari bandwagon, thanks to the popular Netflix show “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” and the related book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” The mission, according to the KonMari website, “is to help more people tidy their spaces by choosing joy.”  

That shirt from high school that you’re holding onto? That dress you swear you’ll wear someday? The contents of that closet you avoid opening out of fear of what’s in there? If these don’t bring you joy, throw them out, donate them, just get rid of them. That’s the basic idea.

In Romans 15:13, Paul writes: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

It’s a sad reality that many of us find our joy in the belongings filling our homes. 

My husband and I help lead a Celebrate Recovery program at our church. One thing I’ve learned about joy is that it doesn’t come from my belongings or from filling my time. Rather, it comes from God. 

Chellie Ison

In my early days of recovery, I read some of the literature on codependency. What really stuck with me is the idea that codependent service can keep me from truly finding the joy that God wants to fill me with. 

When we serve to please others because we need to feel needed or when we serve without boundaries, we can find ourselves lacking joy and feeling burdened. 

We need room to stop, to breathe and to see God’s hand in our daily lives.

It’s good to learn to say no to some things, even good things, so we can serve in a way that allows God to fill us with his joy and draw us closer to him. 

This is not an excuse to do nothing. It’s a push to be purposeful with our time. Service can be difficult. In Hebrews 12:2 we see how Christ persevered and “endured the cross,” because he knew there was joy to come.

And let’s not even get started on the amount of time we spend with our phones and social media. No doubt putting our devices down could help us to experience the joy in our days that we are oblivious to, because of those devices.

When we serve to please others because we need to feel needed or when we serve without boundaries, we can find ourselves lacking joy and feeling burdened.

I like Marie Kondo’s theory. I believe there is value in cleaning out our homes. There is also value in clearing our schedules and making room for God to show us how we can best serve him, how he can fill us with joy. 

So, as you clean out your closets and declutter your homes alongside millions of other KonMari fans, take a moment to think of other areas in your life that are feeling a little cluttered and figure out how you can clear those areas to make room for the joy God wants to share.

Contact: [email protected]

Filed under: Finding joy Insight joy KonMari Marie Kondo Opinion Top Stories

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