Today is a guest post from my wife, Sandra:
I’m currently pregnant with our second child, and I’ve been put on bedrest by my physician. It’s been hard to sit around a lot. Netflix has been great because they have such a variety of things to watch. I came across Hoarders: Season 1, and thought, “I have nothing else to watch, this might be interesting.” It’s a show about people who refuse to throw things away, and how this affects the way they live.
It was not at all what I thought it would be. I was equal parts horrified, confused, saddened and convicted while watching these people suffer with this illness. The problem is not just the mess, but what is in the mind that keeps people in this state. They may even recognize the problem and want to be free, but the prison is so strong that many feel they can’t beat it. They may have help, but being so overwhelmed with the task at hand, and finding themselves “empty” in the process, not much gets done.
The more I thought about this condition, the more I saw that I do this so much in my heart. I hoard things that are trash for the soul; they are unhealthy, and sicken my heart by keeping them. Eventually they weaken me, my relationships and friendships, and my relationship with God. I need to regularly clean my heart of pride, hurts, fear, mistrust, anger, resentment, and unforgiveness.
Jesus gave us a warning that you can’t just cast out a demon from someone – they also must be filled with the Spirit of God. If not, then seven more will come and make their home in a man’s heart, leaving him worse than before.
We must all be careful to not just “clean out our heart” but to allow it to be filled with God’s Spirit. In this way, we will be on a long, but good journey towards God’s heart, not just leaving a hole exposed. This is one of the real reasons why there is the physical/mental problem of hoarding and the spiritual/emotional kind as well. It is because, as fallen humans, we naturally seek for things outside of God to fill our need. It is a need that is a vacuum. It cannot be filled by natural, earthly things – they fade, wear away, get destroyed. Instead, we must fill it with the everlasting God, who can and will satisfy every single need, and will fill the hole in our hearts better than any other thing could.
Jesus made it possible. We don’t have to be in bondage to feelings, anger, and hurts. Jesus died on the cross to free us from the bondage sin has in our hearts. We can be free, if we trust God enough to take the junk from our hearts. He is a good Father, and gives gifts to His children. What He asks us to throw out, He replaces with even better things than we could ever imagine!