Most of you have probably seen the show “Hoarders” at least once. I know once I turn it on I can’t stop watching. Even though I watch in disgust and frustration I can’t seem to take my eyes off of this mesmerizing show. The thing is, it’s easy to want to hold onto things. Jason and my house is pretty empty as far as stuff goes, yet even in our house there are things that I can guarantee you need to be tossed. Things tend to have value in our lives or are attached to memories. Out of the many episodes I watch, I would say a majority of the individuals that are affected by compulsive hoarding have been affected by a major emotional tragedy of some kind. To tell you the truth, my heart hurts for them and I wish I could go in, clean it out for them, and tell them about how fulfilling a life in Christ is. But unfortunately I can’t. And that’s not what I’m here to talk about today. I want to talk about to you spiritual hoarders out there.
There are three main definitions of hoarding:
- acquiring and failing to throw out a large number of items that would appear to have little or no value to others (e.g., papers, notes, flyers, newspapers, clothes)
- severe cluttering of the person’s home so that it is no longer able to function as a viable living space
- significant distress or impairment of work or social life
I would argue that a majority of Christ-followers, especially those of us who have been saved a long time, suffer from these things in our spiritual lives to some extent. We acquire things such as preconceptions or misperceptions about our faith that we fail to get rid of. They have no value and hinder us from living the life God intended for us. Secondly, the things we hold onto, whether conceptions, memories, or emotions, disable us from living functionally and fully. Jesus calls us to live full lives! And lastly, we let our spiritual past impair our community with others. When was the last time you held a grudge, wouldn’t talk to someone, or refused to forgive yourself or others?
I am not saying that you forget your past in your Christian walk. The things we’ve experienced and learned throughout the years are imperative to make us who we are. They are all a significant part of our sanctification process. But sometimes it’s important to reevaluate our lives and clean out the clutter that may be keeping us from living a life full of unhindered faith. There has to be a happy medium in our lives where we continue to grow based off of where we’ve been yet start each day fresh and new.
I wish this was an easy fix, but most Christians will struggle with this most of their lives, and most of them will keep on living with it completely unnoticed. My urge to you today is to evaluate your walk with Christ. Is there anything in your past holding you back? Any notions you have that might be keeping you from pushing the limits of your faith? How about any wounds that make you refuse to forgive, love, or live a free life? We’ve all been hurt by someone somewhere. Probably many times. It takes time to heal, yes, but don’t let your yesterday wounds dictate how freely – or stifled – you live your life today.
So wake up! Get into the grunge of your life and clean house. Keep your faith deep, yet simple. I think you’ll find your life much fuller, the way Christ intended.