“Do less. Be more. Clear out the clutter of idle words. Find that white space. Honor God.” (Unglued by Lysa Terkeurst- chapter 11)
The clutter of idle words. Thoughts that run rampant in our minds and slowly we think them truths. The things we create out of our own insecurities and fears and anxieties. Not truths.
How do you determine idle words and clutter in your mind from truths? How do you stop beating yourself up and turn to God for answers? It is easier said than done. Saying we will turn to God when we are at our lowest or in our ugliest state is one thing. Actually turning to God when we are most vulnerable is entirely another. Often it is these times we need God, and it is also these times that our mind is so cluttered with untruths that we forget we need God. Kind of ironic isn’t it?
So many times I have lashed out at people, people that I love. I have attacked. I have defended myself (probably against only clutter in my mind rather than truth). I have been angry and ugly. I am mostly an exploder, but one situation that sticks out for me is one where I was a stuffer.
My sister and I went years without talking. We would be cordial at family functions, but in truth, I was so angry inside. My thoughts told me she hated me. My thoughts told me she hated my children. My thoughts were jealous of how she treated other people and their kids. My thoughts went on and on telling me lies about myself and lies about my sister. This went on for many years. It hurt. It was a hurt so deep that I didn’t even want to think about it. I ignored it. But ignoring those hurts only makes the hurt deeper.
Within the last year, my sister and I finally talked. I cannot even remember how, but I remember the conversation. All the lies I conjured up in my head were gone. When we talked, I learned of some hardships my sister had been enduring over the past years. While I took her situation as I viewed it as a personal attack against my family, she was struggling inside and I didn’t even know it. She was facing demons that I could have helped her with if I had only listened to the truth instead of the lies. We are good now. There are no more barriers between us. We can help each other face demons together without judgement.
This situation, which truly lasted a long time, has taught me so much. I have learned that when you clutter your head with your ideas of situations, you take up all the space so there is no longer room for truth. Truth in a situation and truth in God’s Word will see you through any situation. I did not allow for truth at all. I wasn’t even looking for it.
So, here is a graphic representation of the above situation:
Thought: My sister hates me and my family. We are not good enough for her to spend time with. She would rather be with other people and other people’s kids.
Verse: Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 1 John 4:20
Truth: My sister was struggling. If I had been tenderhearted to her as God is to me everyday, we would not have had this wall up between us. Because God is forever forgiving, He has granted me grace and has given me the chance to be tenderhearted toward my sister. Also, if I love God the way I want to, the way I believe I do, then I must love my sister as well as all others.
We all have what we need to live a Christ-like life. The Holy Spirit supplies it to us as a gift. It is up to us to clear the clutter and allow room for it to change our lives and the lives of others.