When I wrote the following devotional several years ago, 2020 – the year of global hoarding – wasn’t on my radar. I had no idea that frightened people would stampede supermarkets to stockpile on toilet paper, baby wipes, and yeast. In March 2020, members of the not-so-secret society of “The First Order of the Closet Hoarder” took over our world. Lest we laugh at our corporate foolishness too early, don’t be too surprised if the lastest ‘stockpile and hoard’ items fly off our shelves in the next few weeks.
I grew up in a time where neighbours reached out to help during times of illness and family crisis. My parents took us along on little errands of mercy; mowing the lawns of the elderly, or bringing a couple of bags of groceries to a family in need. Usually, I didn’t mind tagging along. My only role was to not get into too much trouble.
However, there was one house I was not particularly eager to enter. Even as I walked up the sidewalk toward the front door, I felt claustrophobic. Mrs T. suffered from agoraphobia as well as several physical health issues brought on by severe anxiety. She found comfort in her trinkets, and while most people saw them as nothing more than expensive clutter, Mrs T viewed them as priceless collections. It was a rare week not to find a delivery driver carrying parcels to her door. Barbie dolls, china, silverware, books, crates of canned goods, magazines, and unopened boxes were stacked along every wall of her house. I doubt Mrs T. saw herself as a hoarder; she was just keeping stuff in case she needed it.
Many Christians are spiritual hoarders. They find security through stuffing as much teaching that they possibly can cram into their heads. They line the walls of their spiritual houses with boxes of treasures, but many of these boxes lay unopened. Then there are those treasures they unpacked but never used. They lay in cluttered display cases gathering dust. “I’ve been there, bought the Tee-shirt, ho-hum, now on to the next best thing.”
They haven’t used half the resources they’ve received through their local churches, online ministries, and books. Yet, they crave more knowledge. They are forever looking for the next teaching, the next conference, or the next worship movement to fill the empty place in their hearts that only the presence of Jesus was meant to fill.
Their cluttered spiritual houses are uninviting to others, and they find themselves increasingly isolated. As Augustine stated so long ago, “You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in You.”
“You pray for more power, but God asks, ‘What have you done with the power I have already given you?'” Christine Caine
Fear of the unknown is at the root of a hoarder mentality. 2020 is the year of uncertainty. We fear what we cannot see, and we want to withdraw from the scary world in whatever way we can. But God has not given us the spirit of fear. He has not called us to gather as much knowledge around us, so we are hidden and protected. No, God calls us out. He calls us to share our resources and to be a light in the darkness. Now is not the time to withdraw, now is the time to advance.
Find creative ways to reach out even in this era of official-mandated isolation.
Start an online fellowship group where Jesus is the main focus and where politics are not allowed.
Go through one of your favourite devotionals or teaching series with friends. Use Zoom! Meet in a local park if you can do so.
Dive deep into the Word; yes, by all means. Don’t be greedy, however. Share those nuggets of hope you discover by being a beacon on Social Media.
Share the good news but make sure what you are sharing is GOOD NEWS.
Resist and fight hard against the mentality that the world’s going to hell in a handbasket and it’s every man for himself. Resist the hoarder mentality by repenting of fear-driven suspicion. Be relentless in digging out negativity and hopelessness from your heart, attitudes, and speech. You will draw no one to Christ if you do not dig those things out of your heart.
Meditate on this verse and ask yourself. How can I be a brighter light? What is hindering others from being drawn to the light I carry? Matthew 5: 14-16 (NKJV) “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Find the original devotion and many more in “Dare to Call Him Friend” by Katherine Walden.
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All Bible verses attributed to the ESV version unless otherwise indicated.
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Until Next Week,
©2020 Katherine Walden