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Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

I did not give up anything for Lent this year. My only resolution was to get through a devotional book that’s been collecting dust on my shelf for a while. However, my wife and I inadvertently took up a Lenten discipline after our youngest son moved out a few weeks ago.

We are deep-cleaning our house.

Now, this may not seem as spiritual as denying yourself for 40 days or giving alms to the poor, yet the Eastern Orthodox may disagree with you on this point. They observe the beginning of Lent with “Clean Week,” which includes forgiveness ceremonies, confession and spring cleaning. 

With Lent winding down, we’re a bit late to Clean Week, but we are on a roll now. My wife has organized photos, cleaned the freezer and tidied the pantry, while I have dethatched the lawn, repaired some cabinets and swept behind the fridge, which was scarier than any horror movie you can imagine.

Psychologists tell us that clutter can increase stress and even contribute to unhealthy habits, such as a sedentary lifestyle and eating junk food. Since God is concerned with the whole person (not just our souls, but our bodies and minds, too), it may be a good idea to break out the cleaning bucket and hold a garage sale to get rid of some stuff. 

“Create in me a clean heart, O God” (Psalm 51:10). And while you’re at it, Lord, give me the motivation to keep up the spring cleaning. Those blinds aren’t going to dust themselves, you know.

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