Spring is in the air and Easter is just around the corner. Most retail stores have the intoxicating fragrance of Tulips, Hyacinth, and Easter Lily’s permeating the air. It is an abrupt reminder to me, that along with blooming bulbs, the need for spring cleaning to be done is around the corner. I mentioned to my husband that I would be starting a Honey Do List for his cleaning list, and it jogged his memory about a conversation he’d recently had with a friend about life P.C. (Pre-Christian) and the struggles and failures his friend had experienced. Why is it so easy to share our P.C. struggles and failures but we struggle opening up about those things we’ve struggled with while a Christian. The friend likened it to the church building. Church staff work diligently to keep the areas of the church that everyone sees spotless, but if you go poking around where lay people never trod, there is always that pile of junk. Similarly, we close the door on the ‘closets’ of our own life so no one can see the junk.
We hear of drug abuse, infidelity, pornography addiction, greed, jealousy, and the list goes on and on. Most church members will come forth and admit they too had a problem, but it was years earlier: P.C. Yet statistics and those willing to share their life experience conclude that many church attenders are struggling with these same issues. Why are we so afraid to share our struggles with others? Are we afraid they will judge us? Look down on us? Think they are better than we are because ‘they don’t have that problem?’ The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. God is not a God of fear—He is a God of love. (I John 4:18) It has been said that when we bring our struggles into the light, the struggle loses its power because it can no longer hide and it ceases to be a thing to be feared. We need to open the door of the proverbial closet and allow our struggles to be illuminated by the ‘Light’.
I have recently been convicted of the junk I have been hiding and have started cracking the doors on some of my closets. I am tired of trying to look like the spotless church while hiding my mound of junk. And although everyone doesn’t need to know the entirety of the struggles throughout my life, Ecclesiastes tells us there is a time for every season—this includes with who and what you share. I don’t flaunt the contents of my closets, but carefully consider those I can trust and extend an invitation to help me clean out my closet. I am trading the energy I have been spending hiding the junk in the closet for energy needed to clean the junk out.
I am a sinner. I have always been a sinner. Those of us who are believers are covered by the blood of the Lamb, but sometimes I do the very thing I do not want to do. (Romans 7:15) Some sins are more socially accepted than others—some have greater consequences. But we have to remember that God is working within each of us, and rather than stuffing more junk in the closet, or busying ourselves with worrying about what other people have in their closets, maybe we need to ask if it’s time to personally do a little spring cleaning in our closets.