When I open my closet in the morning, if chaos greets me, I am forced to push past the items I don't want to find the right outfit for the day. If too many tops or pants are crammed together, my search makes me a sweaty, grumpy mess before I even eat breakfast. Closet troubles can make me late, so I might even need to skip the meal—and then I'm in dangerous melt-down territory. This is not how mornings are supposed to begin.
Don't you just love to hear about those women who get up, have their coffee, enjoy the sunrise, take an hour for their Bible study and prayer time, and then go about their day all prepared and sweet? Or does it make you want to throw up your hands in defeat?
Honestly, not so long ago this ideal didn't describe me, and I don't think I'm alone. We want to start our days with Jesus, and in the right frame of mind, but life is just crazy. How can we set a tone for the day that more closely aligns with our ideal? How can we let Jesus into our mornings without losing another hour of sleep? And why would Jesus care about our closets?
He knows you are worth it. Just like I put off doing any other chore that seems overwhelming, cleaning out my closet is one thing I let slide to the bottom of my to-do list. Somehow it seems as if it doesn't really matter. Nobody but me sees it anyway, right? True, but I am important. Jesus thinks I am, and I need to agree with Him. If I don't think I'm worth the trouble it might take to organize a closet, what does that say about my level of self-worth? What does it say about whether I believe God loves me?
Until I was 20 years old, I didn't believe Jesus could possibly love me enough to die for me. It wasn't logical, but I believed John 3:16 was true for everybody in the world, just like it says—except for me. I didn't feel worthy. But one day as I read my Bible, the truth reached past my mind and pierced my heart.
My unbelief kept me apart from God. I needed to accept His love and forgiveness for my unbelief. Once I chose to do that, Scripture opened up to me. The Holy Spirit illuminated the truth in my heart. I discovered verses like Psalm 119:73 that tells me I am fashioned by God's hands. I read Jeremiah 29:11 and understood that God has good plans for me.
If you really believe God loves you and finds value in you, then act like it. Your closet is a good place to begin. The action of making your closet functional and pleasing tells your brain you believe what you say. And this brings up the second reason Jesus wants you to clean out your closet.
Tackling your closet helps you work on your heart. There is a connection in our brains between actions and beliefs. When we clean out our closets as a statement of faith, we can begin to see the parallels between order in our physical and spiritual spaces. In my book, Fashioned by God, I help make these connections with specific actions to take in both our closets and our hearts. One example is to take out what no longer fits or pleases. When we remove these from our closets, we have more room for the "keepers"—those items that work for us. This action leads to doing the same inventory work in our hearts.
The peace and serenity you gain from an orderly closet translates into a less chaotic morning and a bit more time for God. If you don't spend your waking moments struggling with your closet, you can more readily face the day with equanimity. Taking back even five minutes of your morning helps you fit in a devotional or short Bible reading. And wouldn't it be lovely to wake up focused on God rather than the dread of facing your closet? Your closet condition really does set the tone for your whole morning.
Taking control of your closet builds confidence—in yourself and in Jesus. Too many times, "victim mentality" bleeds over from popular culture into belief about ourselves. We can feel as if we have no control over what happens to us or what we do. Our hectic schedules seem to have more power over us than God. And it is easier to go with the flow than to change.
But the act of cleaning out your closet is a form of taking control. And when you're finished, you will feel empowered and confident. You'll know you look your best in the clothes you keep. This knowledge leads to confidence, and it opens you up to courage. Following Jesus requires becoming willing to change, maybe even to do or say things that might make you nervous. But when you're confident in Jesus's love and plans for you, and the power of the Holy Spirit working in you, then anything is possible.
Cleaning out your closet not only impacts your self-image, your schedule and your morning outlook, it can even motivate you to follow Jesus on a new adventure. Who knew such a simple task could change your life? Jesus did, of course.
Kathryn Graves is a style expert, fashion coach and personal shopper. She is also a pastor's wife, Bible teacher, author and speaker. Kathryn helps women discover the source of real beauty in Jesus, freeing them to gain confidence in their personal styles.
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