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Hurtful Hoarding

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.  Matthew 6:20-21 KJV

Photo courtesy of pixabay.In 1947, when New York City authorities received a call about a death in a neighborhood home, they knew the location well.

The address was the home of the eccentric, reclusive bachelor brothers, Homer and Langley Collyer. The pair had lived there since the 1920s and were known to have collected massive stacks of various items, especially newspapers.   

At the house, police found the door blocked by stacks of junk. When they finally gained access to remove the accumulation, they found the body of the disabled Homer but saw no sign of Langley.

As they cleared the house, they discovered Langley’s body under piles of junk that had fallen on him. Authorities reasoned that this accident had left Homer alone to die, uncared for. Eventually, 140 tons of junk were removed from the house, the house was demolished, and the site converted into a small park named for the Collyer brothers.

We might call the Collyers “compulsive hoarders.” Many professionals feel this is a mental health issue that describes people who continually accumulate what they consider valuable. This is exactly what we do as spiritual hoarders when we stockpile our thoughts and devices with no thought of God.

For compulsive hoarders, the remedy might entail counseling, but if we’re spiritual hoarders, the solution is for us to release our designs and devises to God and let Him handle our lives. After all, He’s waiting for us to completely trust Him and His purposes as we embrace His promises to sustain us. When we do this, we can store up our treasured thoughts with God, where our true heart will be. And with that done and with God in control, we’re hoarders no more.

What are some steps you can take to avoid hurtful hoarding?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

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Anne Adams

Anne Adams is a retired church staffer living in Athens, Texas, where she writes a historical column for the local newspaper. Her book Brittany, Child of Joy, tells about her mentally disabled daughter and was published in 1986 by Broadman. She has taught junior college history and has published in Christian and secular publications for forty years.