marie kondoYou line your friends up on your sofa.

It’s tight, some must sit on the arms or squished almost on someone’s lap but there all here.

You stand back.

You consider each one carefully.

Some make you smile.

Some you haven’t seen in a while, but they remind you of fond memories.

Others give you a sigh. You try not to show it, so you put out a small smile instead.

One or two make you look at the floor or away at a bird in a tree outside. They let you down.

You know what to do.

You ask each one to stand, give them a hug and ask them to sit in different parts of your lounge room.

The smilers and fond memories you ask to stay on the lounge.

The sighs, well, they can bunch up on a two-seater.

But the others…who spark no joy for you anymore, you give them a hug and ask them to leave.

You just Marie Kondo’d your friends.

Have you noticed how Kondo’s viral philosophy of only keeping what sparks joy for you is now spreading to relationships?

Life is busy, stressful.

Friends let us down.

Some don’t spark any joy for us…so why not shed them and declutter our lives so we have a bigger shot at ‘joy’.

With the approach of Easter, how does this trend in behaviour stack up against Christ’s ministry to us?

Let me tell share with you a little story that happened when I was a kid in primary school, perhaps you can relate…

My mum told me to let that friend go.

I was having friendship problems one year at primary school.

Someone who I thought was a long time, good friend, turned evil and started dissing me and isolating me out of all my other friendships so that I was a loner.

I couldn’t work it out at the time…why are they doing this?

It just felt mean and I could tell they were deriving some pleasure from the power play.

Teachers noticed.

Nothing was done.

So, I talked to mum.

She listened, we prayed, and she said, ‘maybe you might have to just let that friend go’.

It made sense. What alternative did I have?

If I stayed where I was, I was just up for more punishment and allowing myself to keep being this person’s pin cushion.

Is it ok to let a friend go? Is it Ok to give them the big Mary Kondo?

My own kids have had similar issues over the years.

I gave them the same advice, because I think this is different. You don’t need to be a door mat. You must stand up for yourself to defeat the bullies. Sometimes that means bearing the cost of losing that friend, so they leave you alone.

But the trend of ‘decluttering’ your friendships is a little more cynical. More…self centred. It’s not about survival or self-respect so much as avoiding life’s difficulties. It’s about minimizing the opportunities for radical service.

Didn’t our Lord say, ‘to give is better than to receive’ and ‘carry each other’s burdens’ and ‘forgive as Christ forgives you’ and ‘bear with one-another’ and ‘turn the other cheek’.

Ok, you don’t have to be besties.

Whoever thought of that term is stupid anyway.

Isn’t bestie whoever you’re willing to love in a non-self-serving way. Don’t even the pagans love those who love them?

Didn’t Jesus make miserable Zacchaeus his bestie…not because he sparked joy for him, but because he sought him out in his sinfulness and showed him compassion.

God puts people in our path every day…we need to pray for open eyes to see them, to love them.

As Easter approaches, use this wonderful story in Luke’s gospel to open up the heart of Christ to your kids. Anton’s Antics has a couple of specially built resources to guide you through this wonderful event, including:

-DVD- Lost and Found that includes feature video, song and memory verse and quiz, plus printable bonus resources.

-Sticker Stories- Companion to the Lost and Found Video are two versions of Sticker Stories that are practically self-directed lessons in and of themselves for both before and school age kids.

Order them today to have them arrive in time for Easter.