Consider the Trade

Consider the Trade (Lysa Terkeurst)

You those TV shows where they have an organizational expert come in and help a messy get organized.
At the end there is a big reveal, everyone is amazed, and the messy person though reluctant to part with stuff is always happy with the results and says, it was worth it.  In a recent show, I watched at the end the expert lady made the ex-messy lady hold her hand up and pledge one final thing before the show ended. She repeated these words to the expert, “I promise before adding anything new, I will make space by getting rid of something first.”

A silly show about organizing became a great lesson on considering the trade.  If we refuse to release before we add, we will get overloaded.  Ex-messy lady can’t expect to keep that beautifully redone closet beautiful, if she starts adding more and more to it.  I can’t expect to have room for my best yes opportunities, if I refuse to release the clutter.

Now, here’s what’s hard.  How do we discern what to call clutter and what to keep? And obviously, this applies to much more than just my closet.   I second-guess my decisions because the fear of release paralyzes me into never taking the first step.

  • That purple shirt is great. I like it a lot.
  • But I haven’t worn it in over a year.
  • But is that because it was hidden amongst lots of other stuff? Or because I just don’t feel drawn to wear a purple shirt most days?
  • If I get rid of it and then need it, I’ll just kick myself. I don’t want to have to eventually buy another one when this one is perfectly good. So, maybe I should keep it just in case.
  • But then maybe I should keep everything just in case.After all, it wouldn’t be in my closet if I didn’t think it was great when I bought it. Oh, organizing my closet is just too hard.

So, I trade having an organized closet for a purple shirt I’ll probably never wear again.  Yikes. That’s not a good trade. Ever.
We must get good at considering the trade – and not just for our closet.
Psalm 119:35-37 is a great set of verses to pray as we seek God and consider the best yes choices for our lives:
“Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.”