What’s On Your Mantel?

 All right then, Joshua said, destroy the idols among you, and turn your hearts to the LORD, the God of Israel. – Joshua 24:23 (NLT)

Most times, people place treasured items or special trophies onto their mantle,  (a shelf or outside covering of a fireplace) symbolizing an accomplishment, value or a source of pride. Now I’m usually not much of a fireplace person and most times I’d rather opt out of having a fireplace in a home or apartment. But depending on the layout, if I had the choice of having the fireplace with the symmetrical built-ins, then hey you’ve got yourself a deal! I mean the fireplace, is the heart of the home, so why not go for the whole nine, right? But just like the mantel is the heart of most homes and showcase our most prized possessions in the natural realm, so are our hearts and minds in the spiritual realm. So I dare to ask you, what’s on your mantel?

We live in a world where it’s all about living it up and turning up. Many have grown accustomed to living a self-pleasing lifestyle even if it’s contradictory to God’s word. (2 Timothy 4:3-4) Instead of living our lives in a way that will please God, we’ve turned to living lives that are pleasing to ourselves.

Even women today are not only living to please themselves but man as well. Their priorities are focused on how to get a man, please a man and keep a man. Now-a-days you’re qualified as girlfriend or wife material if you can twerk, roll a blunt and cook. We’ve lowered our standards and cluttered our mantels with meaningless idols and trophies. We go out and get butt injections and plastic surgery, jeopardizing our health because we’ve lowered our standards. (While I’m all for being confident in your natural beauty and body, plastic surgery is a decision based on one’s personal convictions.) The standards of what a “real woman” is have changed. Women no longer desire to follow the example from Proverbs 31 but VH1; by allowing your significant other to cheat or talk to you any type of way, you’re a prized possession and a ride or die. Do you think you’re wife material because you can clean or are good in bed?  How about being wife material because you can pray, fast and live holy? It’s time to realize that we can’t fight a spiritual battle with natural weapons.

We’ve cluttered our mantels with so many false idols that there is no longer any space for God. He’s hidden behind all of the junk from this world. Your attempts to fill those empty places in your heart have cluttered and suffocated your spirit. You don’t realize that trying to fill the voids in your life with people or material things is like pouring water into a cup with holes in it. You’ll never be properly filled or fulfilled until you place your hope and joy entirely in the Lord.

Having a baby, getting a new job, getting married or even divorced won’t give you the joy you’re in search of. As soon as the dust settles from one moment of happiness, you’re sitting around wondering why you’re still not happy. It’s because you’re putting all of your eggs into one basket and predicating your joy and contentment on momentary experiences. Unfortunately, the thing about momentary experiences is that they only last but a moment. What happens to your joy and peace when those moments expire? Do you complain and lose hope in God? Do you allow your frustration and impatience to distance you from Him? I can’t speak for you but I know all too well the side effects of worshiping idols and missing out on “enjoying my now.”

So what do you do once you’ve recognized that you’ve cluttered your mantel with things of this world? You do a thorough cleaning! You can even start now, who says you have to wait for spring? You have to cleanse yourself of all the gunk and junk that has taken root in your heart, mind and spirit. Don’t know how? Seek God! He’s always willing to provide wisdom to those who seek it. You can also link up with like-minded individuals that will help hold you accountable. So bring a trash can and let’s all have a cleaning party together.

Peace and love.

Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from Him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God – truly righteous and holy. – Ephesians 4:21-24 (NLT)

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