by Dinah Dutta
What does it require to do a spiritual spring cleaning? This is a question I ponder so often when thinking about spring cleaning. I do not like to spend a lot of time cleaning.
Spring cleaning—clearing out closets and sweeping under the furniture–only lasts for a season. But spiritual cleaning can have an eternal influence.
It’s important for believers in Christ to do a spiritual spring cleaning. When we dust behind our bookshelves, let us dust off our favorite Bible and get ready for a spiritual spring cleaning.
How about we start with cleansing our hearts?
The first step in our cleaning project is drawing close to God and allowing our hearts and bodies to be cleaned as the Bible encourages us. We cannot clean by ourselves. Instead, we must ask God to do the cleansing.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and put a new and right spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not rely on your own insight. (Proverbs 3:5)
Deep cleaning our mouths
When our heart gets clean, our language should follow. Not only bad language, but negative talk and pessimistic thoughts can destroy the word of God and our faith. One challenge is to stop complaining.
The good person out of the good treasure of the heart produces good, and the evil person out of evil treasure produces evil; for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45)
Renewing our minds: Taking out the garbage
One of the biggest struggles for most of us is removing the garbage from our minds. We must feed our minds and spirits with the word of God instead of the garbage of this world.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)
Repenting from hidden sin
What is a hidden sin? Anger, bitterness, resentment, envy, jealousy, unforgiveness. These will destroy our peace and our health. The Bible says to confess our sin.
Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. (Psalm 32:2)
Jesus in our daily life
God wants to be involved in big and small moments of our life. Let us open our lives and let the light of God’s presence shine into every part of our life.
God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:9)
Learn to laugh at ourselves and at life
God wants us to enjoy and live our lives with joy and thanksgiving. Joy from the Lord is our strength. Without joy it is easy to fall into sin.
The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts; so I am helped, and my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. (Psalm 28:7)
Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy. (Psalm 126:2a)
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. (Philippians 4:4)
If we do all of the above, you will be on your way to spiritual cleansing. When we read and live in God’s word, our attitudes will change, and we become instruments of peace.
Dinah Dutta is serving her second term on Women of the ELCA’s executive board. She is pastor of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Emporia, Kansas. After a 20-year career in cancer research, Dinah accepted God’s call to the ministry and was ordained in 2011.