Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Sin of Hoarding

I’m currently doing Beth Moore’s study of the book of James.  This is one of my favorite studies, and definitely one with the deepest convictions for me.


Here’s just one of the many Beth Moore quotes from this study that has resonated deeply within me:

“…the sin of hoarding is more than just having.  It’s having without using.  The wickedness accelerates in the waste.  In part, hoarding means withholding what we don’t even use from others who’d treasure it.  All of us are accustomed to the saying “use it or lose it” but, the fact is, we’re going to lose it all anyway.  We’re not taking one ounce of this stuff with us when we die.”


I inherited from my mom, bless her heart and soul, a desire to hoard.  Thanks be to God, I’m also a giver.  That helps balance things a little bit, but I’m probably more of a hoarder than a giver.  I’d like to reverse that, with His help.


Truth be told, I believe most all of us are hoarders.  By nature, we’re sinful people who look after our own interests before we look after others.  We might not hoard enough to be featured on that hoarding television show, but if we take a serious look at what we could be giving away to bless others, I bet we all fall short.


Of course my heart goes back to James 1:27--God’s mandate that we care for orphans and widows.  Perhaps we should ask God to show each of us how we can do more to live out James 1:27?  Ask Him to search our hearts and reveal areas where we’ve been hoarding when we could be giving, blessing, and helping. Giving of our time, talent, and treasures can have an eternal impact, whereas hoarding any of those things will do nothing to further His Kingdom.


Time.  Are we hoarding our time?  How could we better use our time to bless others?  As Beth Moore said, “The wickedness accelerates in the waste.”  Are we wasting our time?  God, show us how we can better use our time, not for ourselves in a hoarding fashion, but for You, Father.  Help us to give freely of our time in order to bless others.  There’s so much more we could be doing, forgive us Father.


Talent.  Could we be guilty of hoarding our God-given talents?  Father, show us how we can better use the talents you’ve given us, not for ourselves, but for others.  Surely you’ve blessed us with these talents so we could use them to be a blessing to others.  Show us how, Lord.


Treasure.  How about our finances?  Are we hoarding our money or are we giving it freely to bless others?  How much more could we be giving away to help rescue orphans, to feed the hungry, to serve the widow?  We want to store up treasures in heaven, Father, not on earth.  Forgive us for being greedy.  Forgive us for not trusting that you will meet our every need, for hoarding our treasure, believing we must take care of ourselves.  Help us, Father, to abundantly share our treasure, for Your glory.  Point us Lord to the forgotten ones, the needy ones, the ones who desperately need clean drinking water and a meal in their bellies.  Show us Lord how to use our finances to bless others instead of hoarding it for ourselves.


More treasure.  What about our things?  Are we hanging on to more than we need?  Could we give things away to the homeless, to women’s and children’s shelters, to the needy?  Could we sell some of our stuff to raise funds to help another family rescue an orphan?  Forgive us, Father, for hoarding our stuff.  You’ve given us far more than we could ever need.  Please show us who to give our things to.  You know who needs what.  Direct us, Lord, and help us to freely give of our belongings, just as freely as you’ve blessed us with so much excess.  Take our abundance and multiply it into the hands and hearts of those who need it, those who need You.


Lord, we ask You to search our hearts, as well as our homes, and circumcise all the excess, the things that might be keeping us from greater intimacy with you.  We are prone to hoarding, Father, whether we realize it or not, so we ask you to not only forgive us for being greedy, but to create in us a desire to give abundantly of our time, talent, and treasure.  Convert our selfishness to selflessness and our independence to dependence upon You and only You, our One and Only.

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