The Hoarder In Us

I don’t know why I watch this show…it really bothers me. I simply do not understand the desire to collect stuff, stuff and more stuff. Sometimes this ‘stuff’ has value and other times, it’s just plain junk. Of course I’m talking about “Hoarders”. Don’t get me wrong. These people seem truly conflicted with their obsession to collect stuff. They do it to survive whatever battle they are facing. Tonight, the lady is compelled to collect ‘stuff’ after surviving 9/11. She confessed to spending her entire retirement of $200,000 on ‘stuff’. Every square inch of her home is stacked to the ceiling, with the exception of a narrow path winding from room to room. Even the large garage is full while all 12 vehicles are parked precariously outside over 10 acres. It’s like these piles represent a firewall providing a type of security, a fortress against the forces that threaten safety. Again, I cringe watching this show. I don’t understand, but tonight, I had a revelation: some of us are hoarders, too, we just don’t collect stuff in our homes we collect stuff in our hearts.

I have a lot of built up hurt from past relationships and my childhood…who doesn’t. Little things can bring these hurts to the forefront of my mind where it gets really dangerous. It’s not good to think about things so much sometimes. I’m analytical by nature so the process of trouble shooting and problem solving comes natural to me. This is great for my profession, but harmful to me on a personal level. It’s easy to say ‘let it go’ or ‘just don’t think about it’ but the act of actually doing so is a huge challenge. We get accustom to our habits. And just like these hoarders, these habits don’t form overnight; it’s a process that develops over time. Reversing this process takes time as well, and sometimes it’s beyond what we ourselves can handle alone. We may need someone to help us through it – to help us uncover the root of why we hoard, why we over-think, why we obsess. And when we find out the ‘why’, we move onto the ‘how’. How do we start the process of changing our way of thinking? How do we let the old self die gracefully so that the new self can emerge?

This is a concept that has been weighing on me for some time: letting go of the old so the new can be revealed. The bible talks often about the old and new self. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!2 Corinthians 5:17. Tonight I read about how no one sews a patch of old cloth onto new cloth. (Mark 2:21) and how they did not pour new wine into old wineskins. (Matthew 9:17, Mark 2:22, Luke 5:37) These verses made me think about my journey in a new light: I am really going through a transformation! God is renewing me – He is making me new so that He can pour new things into my life, better things into me. I must let go of the old in order that the new can be contained and fully appreciated and enjoyed.

Habits are hard to change, but it’s not impossible. This walk, this journey, has not been easy. Many times I have cowered away as God reveals about me, to me, but I know it’s for my own good. God wants to shower His blessings on me…bigger and better blessings then the ones I’ve already received! But I have to be receptive – the old self was not receptive; the old self was driven by self – my way, my dreams, my hopes. But I can’t have it my way. The old self must die – the old habits must be broken. It’s time to invite God’s will, hope in God, God’s way. Change of any kind is never easy – ask anyone who has been through a divorce, job loss or the death of a loved one: change is hard, yet we must persevere. True safety is not in our minds, it’s with God. We must trudge forward, never giving up hope, never flounder in our faith. Let me interject here and say that even if you feel your faith is weak, all it takes is a mustard seed. (Matthew 17:14-20) God will never give up on you. The darkness is sometimes necessary to reveal the light. We must break down the walls that we have built that give us a false sense of security. We have to break the chains that bind us to our hurts and our fears. We have to face our old self, no matter how ugly and painful it is, so that we can say goodbye to it. Out with the old, in with the new.

“Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast – as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.” ~ 1 Corinthians 5:17

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17-19

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.” ~ Romans 12:2

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with the unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” ~ 2 Corinthians 3:17-18

7 responses to “The Hoarder In Us

  1. You inspire me. Thank you for sharing your love for Christ. It’s contagious!

  2. I’ve watched that show a couple of times and it’s hard to comprehend how people get into that condition. I am now in the process of throwing out everything that isn’t nailed down! But your analogy was really great, because we have all been hoarders at one time or another. Great post!

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