Before there was a TV show about hoarders, I lived it. Well, I didn’t personally live it. My dad was in business and some customers he dealt with were in that category long before there was a TV show. Too bad those folks died so many years ago, those TV producers would have LOVED them!
Before there was the TV show, there was Mr. and Mrs. West. I will say there was a Mr. West. I never met him. I think he got lost in one of the houses. Maybe a pile of stuff fell on him. Rumors abound.
By the time I was introduced to them, they were living in their second house. It was next door to their first house. The first house had become completely full of stuff and so they bought the house next door and promptly filled it up. My dad worked on their TV and there was no way in the world he was going out there to work on it in the home. There was no way in the world he was going out there to pick it up. He sent me and another employee out.
The TV was not hard to find. There was only one skinny path from the front door. You followed that and you found the TV. At the front door entrance there were stairs going up to a second story. Those were completely covered with stacks of newspapers and magazines. Obviously, the upstairs was completely crammed full of junk. We followed the narrow path through the hall piled to the ceiling with more newspapers and magazines. The path then led us into what had been a living room at one time. The path went by a couch that had two small spaces for people to sit in. Every other square inch on it and around it was consumed with junk.
The coffee table would have been piled higher with junk, but then it would have blocked the view to the TV.
We got the TV as fast we possibly could and high-tailed it out.
When the Wests finally died, it took about three days of auctions to get rid of the stuff in both of those houses.
Hoarding in the physical realm is very much like spiritual hoarding. The problem is we don’t identify spiritual hoarding very well. It’s not as noticeable.
There are various triggers for a person to start hoarding. I can’t possibly dive into those causes, but what I do know is sometimes we have a sense of, “I just can’t throw this away. I may need it.”
There is also a sense, from time to time, that we think something is “valuable” or could one day be valuable. So, we keep it. It ends up being what it was all along: JUNK.
Spiritually, it’s the same thing.
Colossians 3 calls us higher. It calls us to set our sights on the Beautiful One: Jesus. Yet, we have so much JUNK in our lives, we think IT is treasure!
That’s why Paul says the old life has to be put to death. I looked that up in the Greek. Know what it means? It means put to death. It means kill it. Herein lies the rub: we like our junk. We think how things are right now are so wonderful and so much “God” that we have lost all sense of reality.
So, we don’t let go. We focus on JUNK rather than true TREASURE, and we are weak. We are spiritual blobs. We are spiritual hoarders. We think we have the “good life” or something… and all we have is junk.
Colossians 3 is one of the great chapters dealing with the need for spiritual formation. It demonstrates so well our need to have our “programming” re-written. We have settled for so little!
What we need to realize is that we are DEAD when we are truly in Christ. And that is GOOD news!
In the old movie Cool Runnings, there was the question Derese would ask Sanka: “Sanka, are you dead, mon?”
We need to realize we SHOULD be dead… in Christ we ARE dead… and this indeed good news!