How many “voices” a former procrastinator hears while cleaning out! Most are objections about why I should not get rid of something. “But that’s a pretty dish‚ – keep it‚ – at least for now.” I need to listen to the voice of truth that moves me to godly action.
There’s often truth in the objection. “It’s pretty.” The enemy or self will sometimes use that bit of truth against us. That makes it easy to put off dealing with the item.
But what is the truth that should determine my action? Asking that question moves me out of procrastination.
Reframing can help us. It means to express a situation differently. When I consider getting rid of something, my default thought is usually “Keep it.” But God has prompted me to deal with excess stuff; therefore, I must reconsider. So I focus on other truth. “Yes, it’s pretty, but I don’t use it. Someone else can actually enjoy it.” I reframe in order to focus on the truth I should act on.
Some things we keep because they’re beautiful, make us smile, or otherwise enhance our lives. This is for those things that interfere with living well.
Here are examples of objections along with suggestions for reframing to focus on action. You fill in the blank.
“But I might need this satin skirt someday.” / “This has limited and unlikely use; I’d rather have freedom.”
“But I wore this blouse to graduation.” / “Before it went out of style, this blouse served me well – not now.”
“But I don’t know how to get rid of electronic gadgets.” / “I can google that.”
“But I don’t know who would want this table.” / “I can bless someone who finds it at a thrift store.”
“But this vase is too good to get rid of.” / “It’s been boxed up for years. Somebody else will use it.”
“But this is a great book.” / “It’s been on the shelf for years. Someone else will read it.”
“But Aunt Mary gave me this picture.” / “It’s not a family heirloom. Its time here is over.”
“But this is a shower squeegee.” / “Identity is not the issue. The question is do we use it?”
“But this was an expensive appliance.” / “Now it costs me more in space and aggravation.”
“But this suit was such a good buy.” / “It’s not a good deal if I don’t wear it.”
“But this sombrero is a memento.” / “I have the memory. Take a picture. It’s in the way.”
“But we need extra pens and rubber bands.” / “Pens dry out; rubber bands get brittle. They should be used now.”
“But these were Johnny’s third-grade papers.” / “Is Johnny interested?”
“But this lamp has potential.” / “Saving this thing for its potential is robbing me of my potential.”
What excuse do you use for keeping something that should go? How can you reframe your consideration to focus on truth you act on?