In recent years, the world of hoarding has captured the attention of millions, as evidenced by more than a couple of shows dedicated to the phenomenon. The camera pans over piles of half-eaten pizzas, empty shampoo bottles, broken electronics, and newspaper coupons from 1967.
The home of a hoarder is anything but inviting. There is no room for company. It is not conducive to relationship. The home of a hoarder is, to put it bluntly, disgusting.
In the course of a one hour episode, the chaos that is the life of a hoarder is transformed. As the mountains of trash are disassembled, a new space emerges. Space for friendship. Space for productive work and peaceful rest. Space for life to begin again.
While hoarding might make for interesting, though somewhat debasing, television, there is nothing compelling about spiritual hoarding.
It's hoarding of a different sort. It's what happens when we accumulate information, but fail to experience transformation, when we collect knowledge, but fail to apply it to our lives, when we amass heads full of facts and data, but fail to cultivate hearts full of love and grace.
It's what makes for great Bible trivia contestants, but lousy Christians.
If left unchecked, the life of a spiritual hoarder will eventually become cluttered with pride, piled with judgmentalism, and coated with a thick layer of self-righteousness.
The heart of a spiritual hoarder is anything but inviting. There is no room for company. It is not conducive to relationship. The heart of a spiritual hoarder is, to put it bluntly, disgusting.
Hoarders of any sort are usually unaware of the problem and wouldn’t know where to begin if they were. Hoarders need an intervention and help.
Consider this an intervention – of your heart and mine.
Help is available through the grace of God and the support and encouragement of godly friends, if we only will would ask for and accept it.
It will take more than an hour to disassemble the build-up of spiritual hoarding. It will take more sweat and tears than we anticipate to break through the accumulation of narcissism caked on our hearts. But, over time, a new space will emerge.
Space for friendship.
Space for productive work and peaceful rest.
Space for life - the life God intended for us - to begin again.