Pastor's Pen: Overcoming Hoarding

I was watching an episode of “Hoarders” the other day.  I find it interesting how so much stuff could be packed into a house and seemingly not bother someone.  I say ‘seemingly’.  In a way, I guess it does.  Most simply feel trapped, beyond help and that they cannot change.  But they didn’t become massive hoarders overnight.  They started collecting a few things and it grew and grew.  It will take time and dealing with several emotions to get things back down to a manageable level.  But even after everything is cleared and the house is sanitary and habitable again, does that mean the tendency to hoard is completely eliminated.  One of the experts on the show said this, “The compulsion doesn’t go away.  They will always have to deal with that.”

It causes me to look at my own life.  The sin nature, even after we are set free through Christ, doesn’t go away.  We are free from condemnation, sin and death (Romans 8:1-2).  But we still struggle with sin; and, many times, it’s the same sin over and over.

I think of Moses.  At forty years of age he killed someone in anger.  You jump toward the end of his life, almost 80 years later, and he hits a rock in anger.  It was a tendency that he must have struggled with throughout his life.

Paul, in 1 Corinthians 12, talks about his sinful pride that seemed to creep up.  It was a sin before salvation and after salvation that continually rose from inside.  God provided something to keep him humble and recognize his need to rely on God alone and know he himself wasn’t better than anyone else.

We all have desires within us.  Not all of those are sin, but perhaps, even now, you are thinking of a desire in your life that is sinful and unhealthy for you.  I cannot tell you that the temptation will ever fully go away, but I can tell you that you don’t need to give into it.  God has provided Himself for us.  1 John 4:4 tells us, “the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”  God is all-powerful.  Nothing can stand up to Him.  If we run to Him then we have nothing to fear.  Romans 8:31 reminds us also, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”  And 1 Corinthians 10:13 lets us know that, “no temptation has seized you except what is common to man.  And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”  An all-powerful God is an excellent resource.

On top of Himself, God has provided His Word and His church.  Use these to help you “so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”  (Ephesians 6:11).

Until you see Christ face to face there will be a constant battle with your own sinful nature and with the army of Satan.  It’s easy to become weary, but, just like those that need others to help them be ‘saved’ from their massive hoarding tendency and to continue to encourage them; myself and others, including God Himself, are here to help rescue you when you are tempted and encourage to you continue in the faith.  Don’t give up.  Don’t give in.  Keep following our King.