To put one’s house in order can simply mean cleaning and organizing our home. It can also mean changing our behavior to get our life in order, sometimes with reference to making final arrangements before dying.
We all need to periodically clean and restore order to our house, whether after preparing a meal, setting up our household in a new home, or finishing a remodeling project. Life seems to be a recurring series of going from order to disorder. We get everything clean and orderly, only to find it becoming messy and disorderly once more—in need of being put in order all over again.
We declutter, clean, rearrange, dispose of, or donate things no longer needed. It is tedious work. As one of my pet sayings goes, “Life is high maintenance.” We do never-ending tasks like raking the leaves, mowing the grass, making the bed, washing the clothes, and taking out the trash—finishing the last as the first needs doing once again!
We all need to make periodic improvements to the way we do things. We may need to reign in our buying habits to get our finances in order, clean out the attic or garage, or change our behavior to get our spiritual life in order.
If our “spiritual house”—our life—is a mess because we aren’t living right, we need to stop doing the wrong things and start doing the right things. That is what repentance is, and that was Jesus’ message for mankind: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” That is the message of His true Church even to this day (Acts 2:38).
Many churches using Jesus’ name teach things contrary to His words and those of His apostles. Jesus indeed foretold that many would come in His name and deceive many (Matthew 24:5). So, it is no surprise that we find the landscape of today’s “Christianity” in such confusion and disorderliness. God is not the author of the religious confusion we find today (1 Corinthians 14:33). Satan has deceived the whole world and is the source of confusion (Revelation 12:9). When Christ returns, He will restore order and cast Satan into the bottomless pit so he can no longer deceive mankind (Revelation 20:2–3).
How does a person go about putting his own spiritual life in order?
Some of the same steps we use to put our physical house in order can be used to put our spiritual house in order. We need to declutter our minds, disposing of wrong things. We need to rearrange our priorities, putting first things first. Christ said to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” and He will satisfy our needs for food, clothing, and shelter—all the necessities of life people struggle for (Matthew 6:25–34). Having put first things first, we can then organize and restructure our lives, ensuring that we do the things Jesus Christ commands us to do. We must learn to love God with all our hearts and learn to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:37–40).
When we make final arrangements to put our house in order before we die, we inevitably think sobering thoughts about what happens next. We also think about how we have lived our life and how Jesus will judge us (Matthew 25:31–46). It is important to put our life in order while we still have the opportunity.