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Seeds of the Kingdom

Getting Rid of the Extras

by John Berry

Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.
Hebrews 12:1, NIV

I’ve just been clearing out my desk drawers and filing cabinet in preparation for my stepping out of the Glyndley Team now I’m ‘retired’. It’s amazing how much ‘stuff’ we accumulate as we go through our daily routines. I’ve been at Glyndley Manor for almost seven years, in a variety of roles, but mostly involving some administration work, and hence a desk. During that time I’ve put into desk drawers, filing cabinets and other places things which I hadn’t remembered were there. A whole black plastic refuse sack of papers, leaflets, and letters emerged from the darkness; things which I probably thought ‘might be useful one day’ but of course they never were! In the drawers I’d put pens, rubbers, rulers, and other normal stationary items, together with headache tablets which I’m no longer permitted to take, screwdrivers (always useful for a man), old style mobile phone cables which don’t fit anything these days, and a front door lock complete with keys – where from I don’t know!

I was reminded as I reflected on this clear-out (which incidentally took several boxes and plastic containers to transport home) that the writer to the Hebrews encourages us to have a spiritual clear-out also. He says ‘Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles’. In order to run the race that’s set before us we must be unencumbered by the unnecessary, as well as the directly obstructive, things in our lives. That doesn’t mean that we’re all to live a minimalist life-style, although we might benefit from doing so. Rather we’re to get rid of the sinful things that get in the way of our service and love for God. Also those things that distract us from God’s ways are to be dealt with firmly, and thrown off.

On a recent course we were teaching that part of maintaining a godly self-image is going through a regular process of self-evaluation and giving ourselves a spiritual check-up. We don’t have to wait until the end of our life to do so. I would have done better to have thrown out those unwanted items from my desk years ago instead of waiting until the end of my work. Maybe we should set a date in our diaries so that every week or month or quarter, whatever God tells us to do, we take a good long look at ourselves and do a bit of spiritual clearing out? You may be surprised at what emerges from the depths of your hidden life.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, please help us to take a good look at ourselves regularly to see the things that You can see, which are holding us back from serving You as we should. Please enable us to be ruthless in dealing with the excess baggage of our lives so we can run Your race with perseverance. Amen.

John Berry entered the Baptist Ministry more than 40 years ago, and joined the Team at Ellel Glyndley Manor in 2007 with his wife Jennie. They have both now retired from the team but remain as part of the Teaching and Associate Ministry Teams at Glyndley. John and Jennie have seven Grandchildren.


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