Most people have at least seen a few minutes of the reality tv show Hoarders on A&E. The show documents the lives of people who have a disorder in which they cannot get rid of anything they have. This includes old magazines, newspapers but also trash, expired food, etc. These people are literally suffocating under all the stuff they have accumulated.
Is it possible for Christians to be hoarders? I’m not talking primarily about material possessions, which is a valid concern, but more importantly about spiritual hoarding. Let’s look at two possible areas we can be guilty of hoarding:
Time to minister to others. Ask anyone to describe their life and they will more than likely reply, “busy.” Our lives are absolutely jam packed with stuff. Our schedules are so tight some families have to hire people to drive their kids around to different activities. We even have a sense of pride when we tell people about our endless amount of demanding activities. Does your “busyness” include ministering to others? If a friend called you and needed to talk with you would you have enough margin to go sit and listen to them? Are you giving your life away to a ministry that is advancing the Kingdom of God or are you only advancing your own kingdom?
Take some time to examine your calendar and see how you can reorganize your life to create margin. Ask yourself what things you may need to give up that are crowding out ministry opportunities. Are you hoarding your time?
Grace. God has given you more grace than you could ever use. Think of sitting underneath Niagara Falls and the water as God’s grace being given to you. It floods your life, constantly, it never, ever, ever stops. It keeps coming, it drenches you, it fills you up. God wants us to take the grace you have been given and freely give it to others. It makes no sense whatsoever to hoard grace. Remember when the Israelites tried to keep the manna from one day to the next, trying to hoard it? The manna didn’t last, it got rotten and full of maggots. God wanted the Israelites to see He would provide for their daily needs, He didn’t need their help. Grace is always available to us, we can’t use it all up. We are expected to give it away.
Giving away grace means that we quickly forgive others, we answer an angry person with kind words, we look for ways to be proactive in being generous towards others. We understand that God has graciously given us all things through Christ in order that we may live lives of generosity. The great thing about the grace that we have is that we don’t lose anything when we give it away, because we always have more than enough. The only people that lose out when we hoard grace is the people who need it the most.
Clean out your calendars, take a serious look to see if your heart is clogged with grace or flowing freely to those around you. Don’t worry, God always gives you more than you need.
All for Jesus,