Jen’s Gem: Declutter your heart and let Jesus in.
For the past several weeks, I have had to have my home in “ready” mode in case realtors wanted to show it to prospective buyers. All personal items have to be put away so they won’t be a distraction. At first, my son and I would put these items away prior to the realtor’s arrival. We’d then bring them out again after they left.
Now? Everything is put away. My makeup is in my closet. The toothpaste is in the bathroom vanity drawer. The napkin holder is in the kitchen cabinet. We have had to adjust to a new routine but I’m certain it’ll all be worth it when I hear those words from my realtor, “You’ve got an offer.”
By nature, I am a neat person. I don’t like clutter so this temporary super de-cluttered, showroom-ready existence is not bothering me too much. However, the quest to make my house look picture perfect so others would approve made me stop and think about the pursuit of picture-perfectness of my life.
There was a time when I would not step foot outside of my house without a full face of makeup, impeccably coiffed hair, and an outfit that would draw a compliment or two. Today, I dread putting on makeup and I only do so for the safety of others so as to not scare them off.
If you were to walk into my house during normal business hours, my hair would likely be in a pony tail – as it is right now. My outfits? Suffice it to say that my fellow church members and those attending my workshops see the best of me.
Why the big change? Is it age-related? Is it because I work from home and my outward appearance no longer matters? Or is it – finally – I just don’t care what people think about me anymore? Have I finally let go of the need to secure other’s approval of what I look like? Here I am folks. Dark circles, frizzy hair, and a wardrobe that my stylist friend, Scarlett would faint over.
Now before you think I’m looking like a bag lady 24/7, looking my best is important to me. However, it is not something I pursue in hopes of other’s approval.
At some point, I suspect we all let go of the costumes we put on each day and embrace the flaws. Even some celebrities are shunning the Photoshopped images of themselves. They want you to see them for who they really are and I can’t blame them. Being under the microscope day after day is exhausting. And when there’s no real payoff for doing so? What’s the point?
It’s a good thing that God does not judge our outward appearances to determine if He loves us. (If He were to see my unstraightened hair? Woo eeee!) The Bible says in Samuel 16:7
“For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
God looks at the state of our hearts, not the state of our hair and makeup. He doesn’t care if you are dressed head to toe in Chanel – or Tarjay. He sees past the wrinkles, torn jeans, and number on the scale. While He doesn’t want us to not care for our bodies, He’s not going to judge us on whether we have a six pack or a muffin top. He loves both equally.
Isn’t that a relief? Could you imagine living your life in constant pursuit of the perfect body so that your Creator would love you? Could you imagine living every day in this doubt of “am I good enough?” This relentless pursuit only has one outcome. Failure.
The world wants us to believe that we are never good enough. Whether it is how we look, what we do for a living, our bank account balance, our children’s academic or athletic prowess, or…the list goes on and on. We are continually being judged for things that at the end of our lives simply won’t matter.
While I pray that someone will tell the mortician to flat iron my hair and ensure the right shade of lipstick is on me, I won’t be rejected from entering heaven if these requests are ignored. (I may however, have to have a closed casket at my funeral!)
God is not going to look at my appearance, my resume, or my worldly accomplishments when I greet Him one day. He’s only going to look at one thing. My heart. And He’s going to ask me one very important question: “Did you believe in My Son?”
“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
You see, there’s only one way to the Father – and that is Jesus. We may want to think otherwise – the world may want us to think otherwise. However, you can see from John 14:6 that Jesus plainly states the requirement.
This week I’d like to encourage you to look at the state of your heart. Are there things in it that need to be cleaned up? Do you need to declutter it from past hurts or grievances? Is it in need of repair having been broken over and over? Think about letting Jesus take care of this for you.
Then, just like my house, your heart will be showroom ready.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-17