No more is cleanliness next to Godliness than orderliness is close to it. In the Old Testament there are various regulations for staying or becoming “clean.” However, Christ assures us that it isn’t what is on the outside that makes us clean or approved by God, but it is what is in our hearts that really matters (Mark 714-23).
Should people who live Godly lives exhibit order? Reading “But let all things be done properly and in an orderly manner” (1 Corinthians 14:40), I am inclined to think so. Does it seem to you like Christians can be particularly bad decisions makers? Do we act on impulse and emotion and feel rushed into important decisions, all the while trying to look good and together on the outside?
The proof is in the outcome, I suppose; are the outcomes of our major decisions usually good? I know that is not the case for me all the time. So what is the answer? I wonder if it is when we allow God to do the ordering. The mind of God definitely lays out plans, and there is an order to His processes- absolutely.
How can I live out God-like orderliness? I guess the answer is to let go, and to let him create the order that he wants; the timing, the resources, the direction, the maturation in me during the wait.
How does this apply to finances?
I think it is this: first letting go, and then relinquishing control; “God, you order the steps of my life, I’ve tried my way, and it doesn’t always work so good.” This has ramifications to our spending decisions, lifestyle, and many other areas.
Am I to be organized?
I know that the more things I am involved in, the messier life is, and find it difficult to get and stay organized. Does Christ lead us into a life that is more simplified? Perhaps, though I am not sure that is always the case; life can surely get messy sometimes. Also I find the more I try to create and keep order, the more controlling I am.
Life is messy. However, if our budget, checkbook, financial records and bill paying is a mess, I find it a struggle to have order, or let God in to do so. We are able to keep organized through having a place for almost every financial document or data in an accordion file, software and filing cabinets. It is not next to Godliness, but it helps keep down the distractions.