Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Stop Closing the Door

Today my world felt out of control. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get a grip. So, I did what every out of control woman does on days like this — I cleaned! There’s something about reclaiming an area that helps me feel like I have gotten some control back. I began this little cleaning venture in the master bathroom, and I realized quickly how neglected this room truly was. We have had so many other projects going on that it has been easy to close the door and ignore the mess. 

At first, I set out to only clean the shower and toilet. Then I realized the sink needed to be scrubbed. Well, then I noticed a sticky place on the floor. The list went on and on. I finally had to quit for the night even though I kept finding more and more areas that needed to be cleaned. 

During the final moments of mopping, it dawned on me how easy it had been to simply close the bathroom door and not deal with the mess that was in our master bathroom. Messes are messy. They require a lot of hard work and intentional focus. Time and energy have to be exerted and decisions have to be made about how to best handle the mess. We may regret the decision later, but on the front side, closing the door often seems like the best idea.

We do the same thing with the messy parts of our lives. It is easy to close that door and pretend the mess in our hearts isn’t there. But, like Jesus said to the Pharisees in Matthew 23:26 (CSB),

“Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup, so that the outside of it may also become clean.”

In our daily lives, so often we recognize problems and issues. We excuse them away and say we will deal with them later. We allow the mess of unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, and other sin to grow inside our hearts for so long that it becomes normal. Closing the door seems easier than trying to wade through the mess and bring it back into order again. 

But closing the door only makes the mess bigger. When the day comes to open the door and clean it up, the mess will be large and hard to deal with. At this point, no matter where we look, we will constantly see the wreckage of our brokenness and wish we hadn’t neglected it for so long. Like the Psalmist expressed about his own hidden sin,

“When I kept silent, my bones became brittle from my groaning all day long.” (Psalm 32:3, CSB)

Messes are messy. They require a lot of hard work and intentional focus. Time and energy will need to be exerted and decisions made about how to best handle the mess. If we become aware of some areas that we have been shoving away and shutting the door, let’s take some time to deal with those issues. If we don’t deal, we won’t heal. We need to stop closing the door and tackle the mess head-on before life gets too messy to clean up.

Copyright © 2020 Christy Bass Adams, used with permission.

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