Andrew Schroer writes a faith column for the Victoria Advocate.

We are in the middle of a major remodel of our church. It was time. Our sanctuary is over 50 years old — just a little older than I am right now.

Both of us have begun to show our age.

Don’t get me wrong. The church was still beautiful. The wood features and stain glass windows are timeless. The members of our church have worked hard over the years to maintain our facilities and keep them clean.

But if you looked closely, the church’s age was showing. Walls were chipped and broken. The doors were covered with water stains. The window sills had rotting wood. The wood paneling, which at one time was all the rage, is now out of fashion. The infrastructure for modern technology was woefully inadequate. We still used a bedsheet hung with bungee cord as a projector screen.

Most of us, honestly, didn’t see or realize the need for the renovation until it was pointed out to us. We suffered from a form of what I call “clutter blindness.”

Clutter blindness is when you have a table or a corner in your home where junk is piled up. The problem is that you see it every day and get so used to it, you become blind to it. We all have parts of our homes, garages or offices that look bad or are a mess, but we have become so used to it, we don’t even notice it anymore.

I call that “clutter blindness.”

The same phenomenon happens with the wear and tear on our homes. It happens so gradually, we don’t even realize that they have become outdated or run down. We don’t realize the need for renovation.

Such blindness to clutter or the need for renovation doesn’t just happen in our homes. It also happens in our churches.

It even happens in our hearts.

Sometimes we think that when we come to faith, all the mess and ugliness in our hearts and lives will suddenly disappear. Although we become a new person through faith in Jesus, we still have an old sinful nature. We still have clutter and dirt in our hearts and lives.

As believers, we often fail to see the bad habits and bad behaviors which slowly have crept their way into our hearts even after years of being Christians and going to church. We get used to them. We don’t even notice them. We get lazy in our faith.

We consider ourselves good, church-going people and so become blind to our tempers, our pride or our gossip. We rationalize our drinking. We fail to see the clutter and rotting wood in our hearts.

The life of a Christian is a life in need of constant renovation. As we grow in our understanding of God’s love and forgiveness, the Holy Spirit leads us to do the hard work of tearing down the old, rotting wood of bad habits and bad behaviors in our lives. He leads us to repent and renovate.

But that’s a process which never ends here on earth. Watch out for spiritual laziness and complacency in your faith. Look closely at nooks and crannies of your heart and your life. We all have room for improvement.

We all have need for renovation.

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Pastor Andrew Schroer has been a pastor for nearly 20 years and is currently serving at Redeemer Lutheran Church with campuses in Edna and Victoria, Texas. Read more of his devotional writing and contact him at 364DaysofThanksgiving.com.

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