While our house typically looks clean, I recently prepared for an event that forced me to clean out the cabinets, drawers, closets, shelves, storage space, etc. I would open a drawer and feel this overwhelming feeling: Where am I going to put all this junk? How do I even begin to deal with the mess? It occurred to me that often our spiritual life is like these drawers. We keep the outside of our cup clean by attending church, saying we’ll pray for folks, and doing all the appearances of godliness, while the inside of our cups are filth (Matthew 23).
Matthew 23 and these verses in Timothy create a good picture of what we often find in the dirty mess inside of our cup. In the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
While we all at times struggle with things such as unappeasable or selfish heart, some of us are often left immovable by the thought of doing the really hard work of scrubbing and cleaning it out. However, I have personally found such an overwhelming freedom from going to those dark, dirty places and seeking counsel from those who are godly and believing in the power of godliness and God’s grace. In the painful scrubbing of places left untouched, this is where the outside of our cups are truly clean. This is where we settle in a Spirit-filled life of Joy, Peace, and Love that surpasses all earthly understanding and boundaries. I encourage all of us to seek counsel from godly people and join each other in a Spiritual Spring Cleaning.
While working at an alternative school, Dr. Beth Ackerman completed her Master’s degree in special education at Lynchburg College and a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership at the University of Virginia. She is currently an associate dean in the School of Education at Liberty University. She has developed a love of sharing what God has laid on her heart over the years as a follower of Christ, a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, and educator.