The Christian and Hoarding

sindrome-da-accumulo-disposofobiaEver watch that television show about hoarding? It features people who keep all their ancient Time magazines, because some day they may need that article about McGovern running for president; individuals who stuff their homes with everything from cats to comic books. Walls of junk create tunnels they crawl through, in order to get from room to room.

Hoarding has ruined these people’s lives. The clutter in their homes makes it impossible for them to live like normal human beings.

Know what? Christians can be hoarders, too. Not physical hoarding, but spiritual; emotional. Piles of junk we store in our hearts and heads make living for Christ difficult.

One thing you might hoard is UNFORGIVENESS. Like boxes of old mail, we can keep grudges and regrets stacked up in our hearts, blocking our path to God until it finally crashes in on us.

Two Main Types of Unforgiveness.

1. Unforgiveness of Self. “Regrets. I’ve had a few. . . ” When I look back at my past, there are things I wish I never did; terrible memories that clog my life. Should I mention some? NO! When I recall them, they start crashing down on me. Like piles of newspapers, stained with cat urine, they suffocate my spiritual walk.

Pretty gross, huh? 

But seriously, I’ve known people who can’t forgive themselves for past mistakes. The devil likes to remind you of your failings? But, Jesus doesn’t want you beating yourself up. He’s forgiven you. Remember what Paul called himself? The chief of sinners! God forgave him!

Question. If you can’t forgive yourself, are you limiting Christ’s atoning power, saying there’s something He can’t forgive? Just wondering.

2. Unforgiveness of Others. All of us do it. Hey. We’re so wonderful, so perfect that when others sin against us, we have the right to hold a grudge. NOT!  Jesus said, “forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” It ain’t easy, is it? We have a pride issue. Is it possible we’ve stacked old lamps, toasters, and other small electrical appliances so high, we can’t see our own sin on the other side. Some day we’re going to fix up those old things. Maybe sell them at a yard sale. Make millions! But until then, we ignore them, allow them to block our view.

Hoarding unforgiveness is deadly. It blocks our view of God’s grace and mercy, both for ourselves and others. If He’s forgiven us, who are we not to forgive ourselves? AND Who are we to hold a grudge against someone else?

So how do we stop hoarding? Can we call a team of experts to clean out our junk?  (“NONONO! Not the Superman comics!”) Get on a national television show and claim our fifteen minutes of fame?

How about we go to the real expert on forgiveness? God. Here are some steps.

—Recognize that He offers forgiveness, no matter how terrible we are. 1 John 1:9  “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

—Remember He wants you to forgive others. Luke 6:37 “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Is there someone you need to forgive?

—Reach out to the Lord for help and guidance when you fail to live His way. Wow! I’m saying you’re going to fail. I am, too. But thankfully God is there to forgive.

I know, I know. It’s like a three point sermon, all the points beginning with the letter R. I have boxes of them stored in my attic, waiting for the right moment. . .

Maybe it’s time for a clean sweep. Gotta stop this hoarding.

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