By Nancy Virden (c)2021
I heard several years ago about a senior citizen who destroyed her home with hoarding. She had no running water, had a leak in her roof, maneuvered through the house tightly through a barely manageable pathway, slept on a mattress on the floor, and was surrounded by filth. Lots of filth.
How does life come to this? There is no known cause for hoarding and guessing why about a person is unfair. Her husband died and it seems that is when she began collecting piles of stuff. Hoarding is a complex and rare disorder deserving of treatment. No one living like this senior woman is operating in their healthiest mindset.
Clearly, hoarders are finding something in this behavior that helps them. Long past their homes becoming uninhabitable, hoarders experience comfort from hanging on. It seems too painful and scary to give anything up. Can we relate on some level?
Jesus told the parable about a rich farmer who built bigger and bigger barns to store his extra “I might need it someday” grain. Sure enough, at the end of the man’s life, he had not used it and had not shared it either.
While the disorder of hoarding affects a few, we see that overrun closets and messy garages are not at all rare. Why do we cling to it all? Our stuff, especially the extra things we know serve no purpose for us, could be of great benefit to someone else. God promises that giving is better than receiving. If our homes need a purge, that promise of joy may be a motivator.
God does not guilt us into giving. In fact, the Bible says, “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (1 Corinthians 9:7).
This Christmas, in the Joy to the World season, let us think about it. What do we have that is more than we need? Will we offer it to someone with less? From blankets for the homeless to offering an extra room, there is no limit to where we will discover this joy. -COMMENTS WELCOME
If you or someone you know is hoarding, check out Hoarders.com and Clutterers Anonymous. For suggestions on how to give, call your church, local Salvation Army, or other charity.
Today’s Helpful Word
Acts 20: 35
In all things, I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair. NOTE: Nancy is not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speaks only from personal experience and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
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