I guess we all know someone who hoards. Some of us may be hoarders ourselves. We fill up the house, the attic, the garage and then we rent storage buildings. I once knew of a person who finally wound up with just paths through their house. We’ve seen similar things on TV shows. Professionals go to the houses and help people sort things into piles. Often these things are not valuable within themselves, we just don’t want to get rid of them.
I hoard books. It’s possible that there is at least one book in every room of our house. I love books. Some I have already read and some I am reading and some I am going to read and some I just like to have on a shelf. What happens when I get more books which I am sure to do since I love them so much? Something has to go. There are places to donate them and a used bookstore that will buy them. That’s not the problem. The problem is choosing which book to get rid of. They’re like friends, I may have had them a long time. I have books I bought in 1957. I don’t read them anymore but I don’t want to get rid of them.
I have a set of flyfishing books and I don’t flyfish anymore. I should get rid of it. Too painful.
Now a different kind of hoarding in a different storage area. What’s in our minds that we need to get rid of? Paul told the Ephesians to get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. (Eph. 4:31) True, some of us hoard bitterness. We were hurt years ago but we can’t get rid of it. We say we’ve forgiven but the bitterness is still there.
Someone did us wrong and we got angry. When we see them or hear about them the anger comes back. We see red, our blood boils. We hoard these type of things in the back of our mind and let them pile up and fester. Every time we are reminded of what happened we dig the old malice up. We need to get rid of it.
Paul mentions lots of other things that we need to get rid of in Ephesians 5. Among those are foolish talk, coarse joking, obscenities and even greed. Paul says we shouldn’t even have a hint of immorality. We need to get rid of it.
It wouldn’t hurt us on a Monday to check our storage areas and see if we’re hoarding negatives from the past, from our former way of life. The only thing we should be hoarding is love. “Walk in the way of love…” Paul writes.
Guess I better move some books out. Might better check some other areas as well in case there’s something stored there I don’t need or want. I promise to try to get rid of it. Will you join me?