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vs. Disorganization
Preparing myself and my surroundings so I will achieve the greatest efficiency

Key Verse

“Let all things be done decently and in order.”
I Corinthians 14:40

The operational definition of orderliness is “preparing myself and my surroundings so I will achieve the greatest efficiency.” Being efficient means you do a task successfully, without wasting time or energy. Your desk is one of your “surroundings.” You can prepare this place to be productive by organizing your school supplies so you can quickly find what you need for each assignment. The kitchen is another surrounding you can arrange so that you work more efficiently. You can keep stirring spoons next to the stove or store dishes near the dishwasher to avoid unnecessary trips around the kitchen. Another way to prepare for efficiency is to organize your time. Taking a few moments in the evening to tidy your room, choose your clothing, and plan the next day will help you save time and effort in the morn­ing. Once you make the effort to establish order in your home, you will be amazed at how much extra time you will “find”!

Consistently keeping your belongings organized will help develop a habit that will bring peace and harmony to your life.
When your possessions are left in disarray, you demonstrate ungratefulness, unconcern, and disrespect for what God and others have given you.

The opposite of orderliness is disorganization. When your room is untidy and your day chaotic, your whole life can feel out of balance! Leaving your clothes on the floor of your room may seem easier than taking the time to put them where they belong. But, as the piles grow, more time will be spent searching to find the articles you want. However, if you maintain a system of tossing your dirty laundry into the hamper and keeping your clean clothes hung in the closet or neatly folded in a drawer, you will save time and bring order to your room! An undisciplined and disorganized person does not realize that clutter is a thief of his time, space, and peace.

Evaluation Questions

  • Do I order my day in a way that places my relationship with God above all else?
  • Do I regularly make a list of my tasks and then prioritize them?
  • Does the neatness of my clothing and appearance reflect both self-acceptance and gratefulness to God for how He made me?
  • After I use an item, do I clean it and put it away in its place so I can find it the next time it is needed?
  • Do I tend to keep toys, clothing, books, or other possessions that have little or no use?
  • Is our home ready to receive guests on short notice?
  • Do I cooperate with my parents by keeping the schedule they have designed for our family?
  • Am I careful to properly use tools for my tasks so that I do not damage them or hurt myself?

More About Orderliness

Orderliness is knowing what to remove from my life and surroundings and having the courage to do it.
Transformation results as we behold the Lord and yield to the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (II Corinthians 3:18). As we see God’s character through testimonies in Scripture, we grow in our understanding and obedience to His Word. Here are ten aspects of Orderliness with supporting verses found in God’s Word.

God enables me to:


Establish priorities.

“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” EPHESIANS 5:15–17

Eliminate clutter.

“And the priests went into the inner part of the house of the Lord, to cleanse it, and brought out all the uncleanness that they found in the temple of the Lord into the court of the house of the Lord.” II CHRONICLES 29:16

Maintain order.

“It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.” LUKE 1:3–4

Understand spiritual responsibilities.

“(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)” I TIMOTHY 3:5

Follow a schedule.

“And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel . . . . Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.” LEVITICUS 23:1–3

Pick up after myself.

“When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.” JOHN 6:12–13

Keep things clean.

“I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.” PROVERBS 24:30–31

Put things where they belong.

“No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.” LUKE 8:16

Use things only for their intended purposes.

“Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. . . . And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation.” I CORINTHIANS 11:27–28, 34

Care for things that belong to others.

“And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?” LUKE 16:12

Orderliness in Scripture

Nehemiah Cleanses the Temple

“Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers: and thither brought I again the vessels of the house of God, with the meat offering and the frankincense.”
Nehemiah 13:9
Nehemiah, a Jew carried away captive to Babylon, served as the Persian king’s cupbearer. Nehemiah loved Jerusalem and grieved because the city lay in ruin. After prayerfully seeking God and securing permission and funding from the king, Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem to organize the city wall’s repair. While rebuilding the wall, Nehemiah experienced great opposition from two enemies: Tobiah the Ammonite and his ally Sanballat. The determined leader did not allow their mocking to deter him. In only fifty-two days, the protective, stone wall around Jerusalem was finished! At the dedication ceremony, Ezra the scribe read aloud from God’s Law, and the people celebrated with great joy and singing. Nehemiah served as Jerusalem’s governor for the next twelve years and then returned to his duties in Babylon. After Nehemiah left, the people began to violate the laws of God they had promised to obey. When Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem after some time, he found that there was no room in the Temple to store what God had ordained to be kept there. What disorder did Nehemiah find in the Temple? What “clutter” had crept into the hearts of the people and displaced their love for God? Would Nehemiah be able to eliminate the clutter and restore order in the land?

Revealed in Nature


The chipmunk illustrates orderliness in its home by designating a specific function for each room it creates. In their expansive underground burrows, chipmunks build storage rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, and even toilets.

For Kids

Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum

The Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum uses examples from the lives of men and women in the Bible whose walk with God resulted in good character or whose lack of faith produced poor character. The study of orderliness teaches children how they can better serve God when they organize and maintain those places and possessions entrusted to their care.

View the Orderliness booklet sample:

Get the complete Orderliness booklet with all four lessons & activities:

Free Resources for Orderliness

Enjoy these selections from the Biblical Character Illustrated Curriculum that are fun and memorable!

Bible Story Coloring Page
Verse & Definition Word Search
Related Hymn Sheet Music
“God is not the author of confusion, but of peace . . . . Let all things be done decently and in order.”
I Corinthians 14:33, 40