Are you one of the many people who binge-watched Tidying Up by Marie Kondo on Netflix? I am! Years ago I read Marie Kondo’s two books The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy. Marie Kondo approaches decluttering differently than any other method out there. Her approach is also very spiritual. Does her spiritual approach fit into a Biblical worldview? Find out in this blog series: A Christian’s Response to Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.
Recently my children were going to meet a new friend. Before we went to the family gathering, we practiced a polite greeting. I had the kids smile, shake hands with one another, and say “nice to meet you.” They thought the practice was ridiculous, but it paid off. I was proud at how nicely they greeted the new friend.
In Tidying Up, after organizing expert Marie Kondo meets the family who she will be helping in the tidying up process, Marie asks if they minds if she takes a minute to greet their home. The family gives permission and Marie, in stocking feet, paces the floor until she finds exactly the right spot. Silently she drops to her knees, feet tucked beneath her. She closes her eyes and lightly traces her fingers on the floor. She bows slowly, all while the family and her interpreter look on in reverent silence.
Some of the families on the show are drawn to this ritual. Marie Kondo sees her job and the world we live in as a spiritual place. Marie Kondo is originally from Japan. She mentions in her books that Shinto beliefs have informed the way she tidies up. Shintoism includes the idea that inanimate objects can be inhabited by spirits or gods. Therefore, Marie takes the time to personally greet the house.
What should a Christian response be to Marie Kondo greeting the home? Should a Christian participate in this practice?
Here is what the Bible says.
Humans were created as spiritual beings, but the rest of creation was not. In Genesis 1, only humans were made in God’s image. In Genesis 2, mankind was brought to life with God’s breath which sets us apart from all other creation.
This is not to say that we should treat inanimate objects carelessly. In the same passage we are given dominion over creation. The term dominion is not to be seen as domineering, but with respect and care because of our love and respect for the God who made the earth and gave us responsibility over it.
So should I greet my house before I declutter?
But we should pause and pray before we interact with what God has made. That includes our home and the objects in it.
Decluttering our home and tidying up is a spiritual practice. Not because our home is spirit, but because we are spiritual beings. As a believer in Jesus Christ, you are a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19) and the decisions you make should be done with the conscience presence of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16-26).
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Also in this blog series: