I showed no mercy. This year, as I was preparing to decorate, I ditched the ornaments I rarely display.My collection was significantly reduced. It feels good to scale back. As my purged my pile of give-aways grew, God impressed upon me that I hang onto lots of things– and not just material items.

I am a hoarder.  I cling to poor habits and negative characteristics. YIKES.

During this season, with God’s prompting, I have challenged myself  to ditch the qualities that look more like me and less like the babe in the manger.

Here’s my list of 10 characteristics to stop hoarding and 10 qualities (plus a prayer) to replace them.
  1. Unforgiveness: When I’ve hurt someone, I want to be forgiven. Why would I not freely give it when another has wronged me? Lord, replace my unforgiving heart with a forgiving heart. I want to be quick to forgive (Matthew 18:21).
  2. Pride: Pride divides. It prevents family closeness. Lord, one of the six things You hate is haughty eyes. Please replace my stubbornness with humility (Proverbs 6:16-19).
  3. Conditional love: Love is a gift. Love isn’t meant to be parceled out, divided, or earned. Lord, give me the supernatural capacity to love when it is hard (Matthew 5:43-48).
  4. Selfishness:  The All About Me syndrome –my time, my resources, my feelings, my perspective. To cure this malady I need to act more like a servant and see things from a bird’s eye view. Lord, remove my selfishness, give me eyes to see what you see and create a servant attitude in my heart (Mark 9:35).
  5. Dissatisfaction: Paul encourages us to be content in all situations. Lord, take away my dissatisfaction and replace it with contentment in the abundant blessings You have  given me so a thankful and grateful heart can blossom  (Philippians 4:11).
  6. Distraction: The present of presence is the most meaningful gift. Lord, I am  easily distracted by my phone and my list. Remind me daily people are more important than my to-dos or cell phone (Mark 10:13-16).
  7. Criticism: Kindness is the glue that holds families together. Lord, replace my critical spirit with kindness. Nudge me to speak life by being positive and encouraging (Ephesians 4:29).
  8. Anger, agitation, annoyance: Rather than reacting, I want to  manage difficult situations with wisdom, love, and peace. Lord, help me to respond to difficult moments in a way that honors You. Teach me to address disagreements agreeably (Proverbs 12:16).
  9. Independence: An interdependent (not co-dependent) family is  the type of family I want. I want my home to be one that emphasizes participation and pitching in. A place where people care so much about each other that they want to do life together. An attitude of independence creates roommates and boarders. I want to have relationships with my family members that lasts a lifetime. Lord, wipe away my spirit of independence and exchange it for a dependence on You and interdependence with my family members (Ecclesiastes 4:12).
  10. To be me: Forget being more like me. I want to be more like Jesus. Lord, I want to reflect you in all I do (Matthew 11:29).

To get rid of these nasty and not nice traits  supernatural intervention is needed from the One who shows us another way. Praying the replacement prayers are the most effective weapon against the qualities I don’t want to possess. Prayer, worship, and learning more about who Jesus is, is the way to become more like him…and less like me.

 But the fruit of the Spirit is
love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Against such things there is no law.
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
Galatians 5:22-26
What qualities do you want to ditch  so you can look more like the King in the cradle? 

© LoriWildenberg. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Lori Wildenberg is a licensed parent and family educator, parent coach, and co-founder of 1Corinthians13 Parenting.com. She has written 6 books including Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home; The Messy Life of Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family Connections; and her most recent book, Messy Hope: Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety, Depression, or Suicidal Ideation. Contact Lori for your next event or for parent consulting or parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at the MOMS Together Group on Facebook.

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