Some of you may have watched the television show Hoarders but I had never seen an episode until last week. I was flipping through the channels on Labor Day hoping for a Criminal Minds or NCIS marathon but instead I happened upon Hoarders. And I was mesmerized. And heartbroken for the hoarders.
The A & E channel defines it like this : "Compulsive Hoarding is a mental disorder marked by an obsessive need to acquire and keep things even if the items are worthless, hazardous or unsanitary." Some of the hoarders have had some circumstance in their life that triggered their disorder. I was amazed that some of the homes had gotten to the point that they were uninhabitable. The hoarders are embarrassed and overwhelmed. Most of the houses had gotten so bad that the hoarders had no clue where to start and seemed hopeless. Some of the hoarders did not realize that they had a problem. Families had been torn apart by the hoarding. The only way for a compulsive hoarder to change is through therapy. It was so easy for me to be judgmental and disgusted. But like I said my heart was broken.
The Holy Spirit began to whisper that we as Christians can be hoarders too. What? Did I hear you correctly Lord? While we may not hoard possessions we can sometimes hoard our emotions.
- We hoard forgiveness when we fail to extend it to someone who might have wronged us.
- We hoard mercy when we fail to show compassion to others.
- We hoard patience when we are easily annoyed by others.
- We hoard joy when we let our circumstances dictate how we feel.