Get rid of your bitterness, hot tempers, anger, loud quarreling, cursing, and hatred.
Ephesians 4:31 GW (emphasis added)
It’s a new year and it’s time for new beginnings and a new perspective. It’s time for Christians to start wanting more for themselves and wanting more out of life. God didn’t intend for us to have barely making it, mediocre lives because in John 10:10 He says, “I came so they might have and enjoy their lives.” Living in God’s fullness has a lot to do with our attitudes and perspectives on life and our circumstances. We need to stop blaming God for what we think isn’t happening or going right, and look within to see the part that we are playing in it. If we are mature enough to do so, we will find that the problem lies with us, and there are some changes that need to be made.
I love the idea behind spring cleaning. It’s normally a time to get your house in order, pack away fall and winter things, get rid of clutter, give away items you don’t necessarily need anymore, but most importantly, it’s a time to make way for the new season coming. Well, you are the house of God (see 1 Corinthians 3:16) and it’s time to get His house in order. It’s time to get rid of everything that’s been holding you back (behaviors, attitudes, speech, thoughts, activities, people, etc.) If you want God’s best, you have to follow God’s instructions on how to get it.
The Bible says to get rid of, not keep it for when you need it, but to completely get rid of: bitterness, hot tempers, anger, loud quarreling, cursing, and hatred. These are all joy stealers and they stop the blessing of God on your life. These things weigh you down mentally and emotionally; but most importantly, they give a foothold to the devil, especially anger (see Ephesians 4:26-27). If there are two things that Christians need in 2016 is more of Jesus, and less attacks from the devil. Because we belong to God, that’s already an open invitation for Satan to attack us, but by holding on to these negative traits that God is telling us to get rid of, we’re even more openly saying, “Come on in devil and have your way!” Furthermore, there is one more very important trait that you must let go in 2016—unforgiveness. You are only hurting yourself by harboring unforgiveness and you stop your prayers from being answered. We all want God to hear and answer our prayers, but if He doesn’t, it’s time to see if holding onto unforgiveness is part of the problem. Mark 11:25-26 says that if you don’t forgive others, God won’t forgive you; and where there is no forgiveness, there are no blessings. Staying mad at someone is not worth withholding your blessings for. Let it go and let God deal with it!
It’s time to clean house people! For some, not only does it include what’s written above, it specifically includes the following: poisonous relationships, recreational drugs, willful, sinful behavior, bad attitudes, worry, doubt, fear, anxiety, stress, procrastination, gossiping, envy, jealousy, selfishness, etc. What these things need to be replaced with is what’s already inside us according to Galatians 5:22-23: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. You can’t expect great things to happen in 2016 if you don’t want to follow God’s ways. For Christians, spring cleaning shouldn’t just be once a year—it’s a yearlong process. The more God’s house is clean and uncluttered, the more He can fill it with more of Himself and His blessings.