On Tidying Up

If I order the physical things in my house and country in just the right way, will I bring about spiritual order, peace, and harmony? In a word: No.

The problem is that it gets things backwards. We don’t fix a spiritual problem by manipulating physical things. It doesn’t work that way. Even if we instituted a global government and were all forced to march in lockstep, keep immaculate homes, and never express a negative emotion, we would not deal with our underlying problem. In fact, we’d only make the problem worse.

Our problem is spiritual and it requires a spiritual solution. The problem is disorder or lack of harmony but the solution is not merely lining things up with one another like some kind of spiritual spring clean. It is relational – we are sinful beings who are at enmity with our creator. That is our problem. The solution is not a tidy home or country but a tidy relationship with God.

In Christ, the Son of God, we can find peace, harmony, and the right order with God. Then, no matter what turmoil we find ourselves in, we can know lasting peace that cannot be taken away no matter how messy our house gets.

Assistant Professor of Philosophy and History of Ideas at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and The College at Southeastern.