I am not the neatest person in the world, are you?
The sad truth is that I did not receive the “cleaning gene” that most women do.
More often than not, there are dishes in my sink, clothes on my bedroom floor, and yesterday’s towels strewn across my bathroom.
(I am blushing right now.)
Some days, my bed is haphazardly made, but most often, it is left askew from my postmenopausal sleeping patterns.
Additionally, my kitchen floor perpetually needs sweeping, and my laundry is a never-decreasing mountain on the laundry room floor.
It’s not that I am opposed to cleaning, I just always have more important things to do, like answer e-mails or read a book or talk to one of my children on the phone!
I know…I know…I know… If I would just spend a little bit of time every day on my home, I might be able to keep it in order.
I get that; I do!
I have a friend who has tried to train me from the earliest days of my marriage that if I would just spend one hour a day first thing in the morning on cleaning and straightening, my house would never get disgustingly out of control.
I did try that strategy for a day or two, but within about fifteen minutes of my first attempt, I was distracted by a magazine article or by a piano piece that was calling my name.
As much as I find absolutely no enjoyment in cleaning my home, I do, indeed, enjoy the results when I discipline myself to roll up my sleeves and get to work.
I love it when my blue bathroom towels are all folded and put away neatly and in order.
I love looking into my bedroom and seeing a bed that is made with precision—with no wrinkles to be found!
And oh, the rapture that fills my soul when my kitchen floor is swept and there are no dishes lingering in my sink!
And did I mention that I love the smell of a sparkling clean bathroom, of freshly washed laundry, and of dusting polish?
Why do I love the results but absolutely hate the process?
Hang with me … I am going somewhere with this.
I want to talk to you today about the sludge that is hanging out in the corners of your mind.
Our minds are much like the homes in which we live: we must daily keep up with the process of organizing our mental clutter and cleaning up the cerebral dirt and grime that accumulates in our thought patterns, not to mention scrubbing the dark and dusty corners of our brains; otherwise, spiritual havoc will quickly ensue.
If we take even one day off from the intensive process of keeping a pure mind, we will be in danger of losing the battle altogether.
But while the process of sanitizing our brain may be exacting and frustrating, the results will be absolutely fabulous!
I used to live in a home with white kitchen cabinets that filled nearly the entire wall of the room in which I cooked, entertained, and enjoyed rich conversations with others.
This particular kitchen also boasted a pure white countertop that ran the circumference of the room.
In addition to the white cabinets and countertop, the emphatic exclamation mark of my kitchen was a sparkling-white sink.
My kitchen was white as far as the eye could see. You wondered if you had just walked into a snow globe when you walked into my kitchen …
Before I tell you my dilemma, perhaps you have already discerned the nature of my challenge regarding this room:
How in the world is it possible to keep a snow-white kitchen sparkling clean, with no food spatters, coffee discoloration, or spots of dirt marring its look?
How is it achievable to keep all of that white surface space free of stains, residue, and the yellowing that comes with age?
In my fierce battle against household grime and dirt, I have become familiar with every modern cleaning product.
Simple soap and water refuses to effectively scour my kitchen, most generic cleaning agents do not remove the stains from the white surfaces, and even high-powered cleaning options have been futile to aid my attempts to maintain a kitchen with a blizzard-like appearance.
Over the course of the decade that I operated in that perpetually white kitchen, I have discovered only one thing that will do the trick, one product alone that will clean to perfection my alabaster culinary heaven: the miracle agent known as “bleach.”
Bleach is the only cleanser powerful enough to keep my cabinets, countertop, and sinks clean and sparkling white all the time. Every time.
You, my friend, face a dilemma in your mind that is very similar to the one I confronted with my kitchen:
How is it possible to keep one’s mind free from the dirt and grime of daily living and experiences?
Let me joyfully reassure you that it is indeed possible for those who are brave enough and defiant enough to use the spiritual equivalent of bleach to clean away the mental mildew and residue that has collected in their brains.
That equivalent is to sing praises to God!
When you begin to think critical and self-destructive thoughts, you can change the atmosphere in your gray matter by singing spiritual songs— loudly.
When the enemy begins to lie to you and tries to get you to agree with his ridiculous thinking, cut him off at the pass with the power of praise.
Mental bacteria and worship are mutually exclusive; it is impossible for these two opposing factions to live in the same brain at the same time.
Would you rather have a thought life filled with the germ-infested scum of Satan, or with the pure and majestic melody of heaven itself?
The enemy wants to steal your song because he is fully aware of how powerful that song can be in the battle for your mind.
Don’t let the enemy have your song or your mind!
In the very moment when the enemy speaks, you, my friend, should determine to drown out his lies with vibrant worship for our loving and wise Father.
You must … you simply must … choose to worship loudly and joyfully every day in order to clean up your brain from the mess that the enemy has tried to leave there!
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Carol McLeod Ministries