Hoarding

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?

Prayer
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.


About Manette

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.

Published by musingsofmanettekay

Sharing bits of memoir in the format of devotionals, prayers and short stories.

10 thoughts on “Hoarding

    1. You are so right David, however, I think many get in a spiritual trap of living for their own comforts. Then slip into the deception of enemy fears and lies and don’t share for varying reasons. Regardless the reason the end result is being a miser or hoarder of God’s gifts.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. So true! My husband calls it a spiritual cesspool when we take in all that God gives, but have no outlet to keep it flowing. It’s an ugly picture any way you describe it and I think the miserly, hoarding angle adds another layer- that of selfishness. Being afraid or unwilling to let go is different than being too lazy to do so. Thank you for painting such a vivid picture of a real consideration!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are spot-on Manette. We should always be ready and watching for an opportunity to share our joy of salvation that we have in Christ — yes, at a moments notice when the situation is given. Also, to support the people who are in full-time ministry, and to be seeking where God wants us personally in the ministry of witnessing. Thank you for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Manette, thank you for this. Excellent parallel usage.

    My mom is a hoarder. I didn’t even know there was a title for this action until the TV show. This didn’t start until I hit my late teens, and it didn’t get better. She tends to keep bags and boxes of stuff that doesn’t matter, like junk mail. At the same time, she doesn’t allow me in the house because she is embarrassed by it. It’s disturbing.

    I have never understood why she became this way. She has dementia now, and it won’t be long until she will be forced to leave her house for a care center of some kind. I am not looking forward to going in and begin the cleaning.

    God’s grip,
    Alan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Alan, I’m sorry you have to face that task. I hope you have siblings or other family members to help when that time comes.

      You not being allowed to enter is a very typical response–thus the relational fallout. The shame the enemy heaps on those individuals is greater than they can bear. Hoarding is often triggered by emotional trauma or loss.

      In our family, most had not been permitted in the house for 15-20 years.

      Please allow me to share one other thing in regards to your statement, “My mom is a hoarder.” The enemy of our souls likes attaching debilitating labels. Hoarding is something your mom does but not who she is, especially if your mom knows Jesus. If that’s the case, she is a child of God who struggles with this behavior.

      I’m quite sure you know that, but I like to clarify for other readers. Our behaviors and the sins we have committed don’t define us, it is who we belong to that gives us our identity.

      Blessings to you and your family.

      Liked by 1 person

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