Spring is fast approaching (well here in Florida, it feels like we're in full blown summer already!) and with it a desire to clean out the old to create space for all the new life and growth that comes with it. Here at The Chase Is Real, we are very familiar with clutter, junk, and mess. We live surrounded by it (just take a look at the videos from last week). In this new Spring Cleaning series that we are starting, we want to stop and take a look at not only the literal junk in our lives, but also at the spiritual junk. What exactly do we mean by spiritual junk? We are talking about the unhealthy habits that we accumulate, starting very early on in life, that we practice daily without even realizing we are doing so. They are the habits that keep us from fully experiencing the better-than-we-dreamed-of-life that God intends for us (John 10:10). They seem little and harmless when isolated, but when practiced often and with regularity, they can become so familiar and comfortable that we don't even know we are doing them. We also don't realize the damage that they can cause. It can even feel "wrong" when we are not doing them EVEN THOUGH they are hurting us! And that's where the true harm lies: without even knowing it, we engage in habits that slowly erode our spirit and the joy, peace, and love that Jesus came to restore in us.
We all deal with junk differently. Some of us hide it. As long as things look good on the outside, we're satisfied. Some of us attack it with an intense determination to get rid of it even though it always seems to come back. Some of us want someone else to deal with the junk, even though this creates great friction in our relationships. And some of us pretend it's just not there. But during these next six weeks, we're going to propose something different. Each week we are going to look at a specific hurtful habit (a.k.a. our spiritual junk). We are going to get out of our comfort zones by committing to applying our series challenge to each hurtful habit. The first step is simply to notice when the habit arises. Just STOP and observe its presence, without judging yourself or resisting the habit. Then, LOOK around at your circumstances and invite God in, into you and what's going on. Lastly, LISTEN to what He thinks and allow His grace and mercy and love to begin to clean out the clutter.
This first week, we are dealing with comparison and the unrealistic expectations that result when we practice it. Let's be real...this is one habit that we start practicing as kids. Sibling rivalry, anyone?!?! Notice when you see yourself comparing your life (or family) to someone else's. Some of my personal favorites are, "Wow, she looks so put together," "Her kids never fight," "She's always so calm and happy," "Her house is amazing and clean," "She is so smart." Anyone with me? We all know that we women have perfected this habit. But there is such power in simply becoming aware of our practice of comparison and being willing to allow God to change us.
To help us all in this process, we have a new private Facebook page in addition to our public one. We believe that when we come together and share our truths and listen as others share theirs, we almost always find that we are not alone in our circumstances. Something powerful happens when we share our stories. And we would love to hear yours in this community so we can pray for and encourage each other. Each week, we will be having inspirational ideas, open discussion, and of course, chances to support each other in prayer. Simply request to join at The Chase Connect.
As always, we encourage you to use the meditation as often as you can, post the verse of the week in your house or on your phone, and listen to our song of the week. Know, dear friends, you are so not alone in your struggles with the junk in your life, and that the God who created the universe and each detail in it is actively pursuing YOU and longs to be a part of the great Spring Cleaning of your soul!