day 3K186: Three Boxes

“Get rid of all the bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior.”

I was going through some earlier posts and thought this one worth posting again.

About once every 18 months or so, I would have to ask my assistant to come in on a Saturday with me and help me clean out my office. I was a pack rat. I just felt like I needed to hang on to “stuff”, just in case I needed it for the future. Most of it, I never needed ever again. When Sarbanes-Oxley came along and record retention went from ensuring that the right records were retained, to making sure everything was gone that wasn’t absolutely necessary, I had to get even more aggressive about keeping my files clean. I took a course once on how to best clean out your office. You start with three labeled boxes in the middle of your floor. The first one is labeled; “trash/shred”. The second one is labeled; “file somewhere else other than in my office”. The third one is labeled; “refile in my office”. Every file and drawer in the office is emptied and is to be put in one of the three boxes (or piles) before anything goes back in a drawer or a file. If you are disciplined, what happens is that only the essential stays and all the rest gets trashed or moved out to be determined over time if it is needed (like clothes in our closets, if we haven’t worn them in a year…they can go) or not.

We need to clean out our office regularly just as we need to clean out ourselves too. What should we throw out now to make room for the new stuff? Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:31 what to put in the trash and shred box. He says; “Get rid of all the bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior.” At first reading, we might be saying, that is not me. “I am not bitter or have rage, anger towards others and for sure I don’t slander or am I malicious to others”. Most of us are not the prime suspects for these things so pointedly, but we each have a little of these that can creep up when we least expect it. I’m always surprised when I see the nicest looking people yelling something not nice on the highway behind their car windows at someone else. It seems everyone has a little road rage down deep inside of them. We all have the makings of not being nice and allowing our emotions to get the best of us. Work seems to egg it on in most of us too. Now is the time to put the three boxes in your office and evaluate what stays and what goes. A little housecleaning in the middle of the year could be a good thing for all of us.

Reference: Ephesians 4:31 (New Living Testament)