William Morris was the 19th century leader of the “arts and crafts” movement in the UK. If you have ever watched the Antiques Roadshow, you have probably heard of him. I came across an interesting quote from him recently, this is what he said

“Have nothing in your homes which you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful”

Morris is encouraging us to go through our homes and get rid of the accumulated junk.

Those words from William Morris reminded me of some other words from the Apostle Paul in which Paul encourages us to go through not our homes, but our souls, and get rid of the accumulated junk and replace it was attitudes and actions that are instead beautiful and useful.

We looked focused on this passage a few years ago:

9 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5

We are in the middle of Lent right now and a big part of what Lent is about is thinking seriously about our life and being honest about what we find there. During Lent (but not just during lent) we look to see if we have accumulated ugly junk in our souls. Think of it like a sort of spring clean for your soul.

Paul identifies some common junk in the lives of believer’s stuff like, hatred, jealousy, envy, being divisive and having an uncontrolled temper. He says ruthlessly get rid it but he doesn’t stop there, we are to replace the ugly stuff in our lives with things of beauty, love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control.

Why not sit down and invite the Holy Spirit to show you any ugly stuff in your life that you have accumulated and got used?

A couple of years ago when we looked in depth at Fruit of the Spirit, we used this prayer by John Stott. Maybe its time to dust it down and use it again. After you have identified the ugly stuff and told the Holy Spirit you want to get rid of it, join John Stott in praying these words.

Heavenly Father, I pray that I may live this day in your presence and please you more and more.

Lord Jesus, I pray that this day I may take up my cross and follow you.

Holy Spirit, I pray that this day you will fill me with yourself and cause your fruit to ripen in my life:

Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control

Holy, blessed and glorious trinity, three persons in one God, have mercy upon me.

Almighty God, Creator and sustainer of the universe, I worship you.

Lord Jesus Christ, Saviour and Lord of the World, I worship you.

Holy Spirit, Sanctifier of the people of God, I worship you.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,

As it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be forever, Amen.

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