When you think about stewardship, does the idea of hoarding come to mind?
Have you ever met someone who will NOT throw anything away and when asked why they say, “I might need it some time. I need to be a good steward and not waste what God has given to me.”
I think that this is hoarding, and it actually demonstrates a lack of faith that God will provide what you need when you need it. Let me ask a few questions:
- Do you believe that God owns everything?
- Do you believe that God brought these things into your life in the first place?
- Do you think that God can bring them back into your life again?
- Do you think that God will punish you if you throw them away or give them away and you find that you need it later?
- Do you think God is sitting in heaven waiting for you to mess up?
I don’t want to go into a lot of detail, but I have someone very close to me who struggles in this area. In fact I think I have a few people who are very close to me that struggle in this area. They find free stuff or very inexpensive stuff and think: “Wow! Look at this I could use this for _________________ I should get it and do it later”
The problem is later NEVER comes. The items merely pile up and pile up. They are never used, never disposed of, and those people who might be able to make use of them never have them because they are now lost under the pile of other stuff picked up for the same reasons. Over the past 10 years I am learning that I want less and less stuff around me. (This has been a problem because I have more and more people who require more and more stuff! Yikes!)
I am guilty of this issue as well to be honest with you. I want to be wise with what God has provided for me and my family. I don’t want to spend money on something twice. I want to make sure that I use all up of what I have. So I have been collecting things as well. I need materials for homeschooling – I accept free books. (I don’t need them yet, they are for 7th or 8th graders. My kids are ending 1st grade and Kindergarten. Hmmmmm) So I take these materials and say I will use them later, and put them away. (I have been known to forget what I actually have so I am hoping that I remember I have these books in 6 years when they are needed.) I have another problem that I struggle with; I like to knit, crochet, quilt and do crafty stuff. I always have a project going. I don’t have money to buy yarn, but I have been given a tremendous amount of yarn over the past several years. I don’t need more blankets. Yet I keep making blankets. I find these crafts soothing and relaxing, so I keep knitting. I am currently looking for places to give these blankets too. I have a home already for the one I am working on now. I also have a home for my next one and maybe even the one after that. This can be a ministry opportunity IF I am intentional about finding homes for what I make rather than stuffing more blankets between my mattress and box springs!
In America we have so much stuff. Most of it we DO NOT NEED! I have done some decluttering. It helped, but I need to do a TON more. It can be hard. I just keep asking myself is God pleased with me for holding on to this ____________ or is there a better use for this item?
Another area I am needing to find a solution for is my collection of books. Since beginning to review books I have added 54 books to my collection! WOW!
Some of these books I have already given away as gifts, and some I have set aside for a specific person as a gift, but what about all the others? I need to be intentional about moving these materials out of my home and into the hands of people for whom they can benefit. If they are books I can’t recommend than maybe I can dispose of them. I am also beginning to move to getting more books in e book format so that I don’t run out of shelf space!
I have enjoyed my books and as I have read them I often think about ways these books can be used for a small group study, or for a series here on the blog. All these things run through my mind when it comes time to get rid of things. I want to hold on to them because of the what if’s and maybe’s. Am I honoring God with my stuff? Not always. Sometimes I am just being lazy and selfish.
I have a lot of work to do in the area of the stuff we have in and around our home. I pray that the Lord keeps working on me and teaching me to trust him through the process. This world is not our home and we can not take any of this stuff with us. Let us use what we have to be a blessing to others.
I am looking towards the summer and planning what to dig into here on The Laundry Pile. Could you please take a few minutes and answer a few short questions for me? Click HERE.