I have seen and experienced the devastation and relational destruction of the hoarding disorder. Because of my career in property management, I’ve worked on the clean-up of such homes. I’ve also experienced the relational fallout of a parent who struggled with level five hoarding.
Unfortunately, in industrialized nations this behavior began to explode around the 1980s. There are varying levels and types of hoarding. Reality television shows and documentaries have generated greater awareness of this phenomenon in recent years.
In my research on this topic, I found that hoarding existed as far back as the classical era. Then it was referenced under the term miser—think Scrooge of Charles Dickens’ classic story A Christmas Carol. Only in recent history has hoarding been recognized as a mental illness and added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
My intention is not to share an essay about the aforementioned type of hoarding, but rather to use it as a comparison to another form of hoarding—spiritual hoarding. The seventeenth-century word miser is probably more fitting.
Spiritual hoarding? What am I talking about? Continue reading and you will soon see. Those of us who have chosen to surrender our life to Christ have received the greatest gift ever. We are given forgiveness of our sins, the presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and the promise of eternity with Jesus in Heaven.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9, CSB).
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:16-17, CSB).
As believers, followers of Christ, we are expected and commanded by Jesus to make disciples. With his spirit indwelling us, it becomes a natural outpouring of the grace we ourselves have been given.
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, CSB).
Matthew, Mark, and Luke all share about Jesus expressing the vanity of striving for the perishable things of this life at the cost of losing one’s own soul.
“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will find it. For what will it benefit someone if he gains the whole world yet loses his life? Or what will anyone give in exchange for his life? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will reward each according to what he has done” (Matthew 16:25-27).
“Don’t store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21, CSB).
You’ve never seen a trailer full of cash or material goods go out of this world with a person who dies, have you? Matthew is not talking of the wealth amassed during this life when he speaks of treasures in Heaven. Everything we work for or are given is left here on earth. There is one exception—disciples. Spiritual sons and daughters are the only acquisition to enter Heaven with us for all eternity.
Hoarding material goods, as in the photo above, blesses no one. Likewise, if Christians hoard God’s gift to mankind it blesses no one and consequently creates relational damage in this world. Do you share Jesus with others? Or are you hoarding the spiritual gifts God has given you?
Dear Father God, give me generosity of heart to freely share the greatest gift I’ve ever received, that of knowing Jesus. Remove from me inhibition of telling others about Jesus Christ. Cause me to live like those of the early church, spreading the good news of the gospel of Christ to whoever is willing to receive it. Make me eager to fulfill the great commission so that other souls may be rescued and the name of the Father be glorified. Thank you for the grace and forgiveness you have given me. Amen.
I am a follower of Jesus Christ, grandmother, great-grandmother, foster care parent, and trauma survivor. I enjoy sipping tea, writing devotionals, prayers, short stories, and unburdening my heart to the Lord. Check the About section if you want to read more of my story.
Copyright © 2020-2021 Musings of Manette Kay™ All rights reserved. Requests to the author and publisher, Manette Kay, for permission.