Ephesians 4: 31
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
Colossians 3: 8
But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
James 1: 21
Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent, and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
1 Peter 2: 1
Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.
Yesterday we saw that the first way to increase capacity in our lives is to enlarge what we already have. The second way is to eliminate what we don't need. That is, we remove some unhelpful or unnecessary things that are taking up space in our lives. Paul speaks about this in Ephesians 4:
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” (Eph 4: 31)
Have you ever had a huge clean out of your house where you go through every room, wardrobe and cupboard, and you’re ruthless in getting rid of anything that you aren’t using or don’t need? You give clothes and furniture away to charity shops, you bring bags full of junk to the skip. It takes time and it's hard work, but it’s so satisfying to get rid of all the clutter. Once it’s finished it feels like you’ve so much more space than you had before. Your house hasn’t gotten physically bigger, it’s the same square footage, but there’s more room.
Often our lives get filled with clutter. Most of the time it’s not intentional, we just let things build up and accumulate and take up space in our lives that reduces our capacity to receive. It could be:
- Things that were perhaps good for a season, but we don’t need them anymore.
- Issues from our past that we have never dealt with properly.
- Sinful habits or wrong behaviour patterns that keep us stuck.
- Unforgiveness or bitterness that we haven’t resolved.
- Negative thinking and wrong attitudes.
- Hurt which has been left to fester, broken relationships, anger and resentment.
These things take up space in our lives, they clutter our souls, they reduce our inner capacity to receive what God wants to pour into us. There are some things that simply must confront and deal with because they’re not going to go away on their own. The longer they are left there, the more they limit our capacity to receive from God.
There’s something about God that he is drawn to emptiness. God loves to fill whatever space we bring Him. Our problem is often that we are so full of everything else that there’s no space left for God. When we empty ourselves of sinful habits, bitterness, anger, wrong thinking, self-centredness, greed etc., we create space for God to fill.
What detrimental habit or unresolved issue might be taking up emotional or spiritual space in your soul and you have been tolerating or ignoring it? How could you deal with it and thus create room for God to fill?
Enlarge your capacity by eliminating that which is taking up space but producing no power.