by Rick Warren — December 7, 2022
From Building Character
“We must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially sin that distracts us. We must run the race that lies ahead of us and never give up.”
Hebrews 12:1 (GW)
Real change requires cleaning house.
If you’re one of those people who can’t find the motivation to get your physical house clean, then cleaning your spiritual house may seem like a bigger task. But this is where you need to use your best energy—because God wants you to spend your life becoming more like him. And becoming more like him sometimes requires you to make difficult changes.
The Bible says it like this: “We must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially sin that distracts us. We must run the race that lies ahead of us and never give up” (Hebrews 12:1 GW).
To decide what you need to clean in your spiritual house, you just have to figure out what needs to change in your life. Ask yourself questions like: What is slowing me down?
If you want a healthy body, then maybe you need to keep healthier food in your house or create a meal plan. Or maybe you need to commit to regular exercise, even if you start small with 15 minutes a day.
If you want a healthy mind, then you may need to unsubscribe to some magazines or block some channels. You may just need to delete some apps or put healthier boundaries around your screen time.
If you want a healthy schedule, then you need to decide what’s most important to you. Then you can eliminate some less-important activities—sometimes even good ones—so that you can focus more on what matters most to you.
If you want a clean heart, then you need to spend time in prayer, asking God what you need to confess and then confessing those things. This can be the most difficult step of spiritual cleaning. Through confession, you’re recognizing and rooting out sins that cause unhealthy habits throughout your spiritual house.
The Bible says in Ephesians 4:22, “Get rid of your old self, which made you live as you used to—the old self that was being destroyed by its deceitful desires” (GNT).
It’s time to clean house—but it’s not a one-time practice. Just like you have to regularly clean your physical home, you need to make a habit of asking the hard questions to identify what spiritual rooms need a good cleaning. Then, with God’s blessing, you get to work.