Really… I’m NOT! I just have lots of stuff.
I’m in a place in my life right now, where I am going through all my stuff to organize and de-clutter, and as I do, I’m amazed at all the JUNK I have. I’d like to say I’m a collector of things, but seriously… where did all this STUFF come from???
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-20
A cluttered home, a large collection of toys, a lot of clothes or shoes, messy closets, stacks of papers on your desk, a book collection, many dishes and glasses or table cloths and napkins is normal… most people have this, most people live like this. Especially if both parents work, and there’s a house full of kids. This is not hoarding.
Hoarding is an out of control experience. It’s an obsessive-compulsive disorder to hold onto everything. It’s more than a messy lifestyle, it over comes the person’s ability to live a normal life. You’ve see it on TV. They purchase things, whether it’s at a yard sale, a department store, a grocery store, or it’s a gift. They save clothing, mail, newspapers, magazines, papers, wrappers, cans, napkins, paper towels, boxes, trash — usually things that have very little value. It piles around them to the point that it only leaves a small space for them to sleep, walk and possibly cook. Most times, there is a bad odor, a lot of mold, dust, and all of the “stuff” that they can’t get rid of poses structural damage to their home. It’s an addiction that needs professional help just like a drug or alcohol addiction does.
When I see someone on television with this problem, I feel so sorry for them. It saddens me to see that someone lives like this and that they can’t see the mess around them the way we do. They hold on to everything like it is a precious item. They can’t bear to get rid of anything because to them, it’s a mental thing. It’s their treasure that they hold on to with all their life.
And now, I’m going through my own stuff… and WOW. I realize how much I have. I’ve gone through all my clothes and gotten rid of everything that no longer fits me, whether it was too small or big, old maternity clothing, things that I don’t like to wear, out of style clothing, professional clothing I no longer need, or things I don’t feel comfortable in… it all went to the local Battered Women’s Shelter or other donation bins. The same thing for my son’s clothing. And the crazy thing??? Some of our things have holes in them where moths have munched on them. MOTHS. They were valuable pieces of clothing, too! Now, they are worthless.
And it’s not just clothing… I also have a lot of “stuff” that I have accumulated over 26 years that I don’t even use! Crafting items, sewing items, fabric, Christmas stuff… a lot of stuff I don’t even know what I have! I’ll be going through everything and either donating it, selling it, or tossing it.
Why did I hold on to all those things? To be honest, I’m not even sure. Maybe because I have a hard time letting go of things, or maybe because I think I’m going to fit into the clothing one day, or maybe because I didn’t feel like going through all my stuff. Whatever reasons I had, there’s one thing for sure: These things did not make me any wealthier.
In a commentary I read, it said that in ancient days, treasures consisted of fine clothing, gems, silver, gold, land, wines and oil. It meant an abundance of anything. In those days, their homes were made out of clay, wood, hay, etc. It was easy for thieves to break in and steal, and for moths and bugs to get in and destroy their clothing.
A hoarder possibly looks at their things as “treasure,” but they do find “comfort” from all their things. If you try to remove their items, it causes anxiety because they have an emotional attachment to each item. The same with us. We do find an attachment to our things. While I’m not a hoarder, I do become attached to certain things: my favorite item of clothing, my cell phone, my ipad, my beautiful dishes, etc. We can also lose everything in a blink of an eye. Moths can come into our closets and eat holes into our clothes, fire can destroy our homes. Dishes chip and break, glasses shatter, pictures fade.
Jesus wants us to form an attachment to Him, and store our treasures in heaven where they are completely safe by investing in eternity. No one can steal our salvation from us.
“One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.” (Psalm 27:4)
We need to focus on the Lord, desire a fellowship with him. As a Christian, wanting to dwell in God’s house, what do you think we would see? The beauty of the Lord, and his greatness! Can you imagine it? I don’t think it would be the Jesus of the old days, with the sandy, dirty sandals and the rough garments that he wore. I think He would be glorious, shining, bright! He is clothed in beauty, goodness, justice, love and mercy, and he never deceives, he never fades or loses power. He never disappoints. He’s always there for us. Those traits will NEVER be destroyed or stolen.
I want to diligently seek the Lord and dwell in his house. This is where I want my treasure and heart to be, because I know they are secure in the Lord!! And by the way… he wants us just the way we are. We don’t need to change or clean up. He’s a good good God.