Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life. Proverbs 4:13
The aim of such instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith. 1 Timothy 1:5
I have had up close and personal experience with only one hoarder in my life. She was an elderly woman who lived alone amidst stacks and stacks of newspaper, together with a number of cats. The experience was not pleasant on any level. The smell was nearly overpowering. Dust covered everything, including the chair in which I would sit when I visited her. She has lived out her days by now, and is free from needing to hoard anything. She was a member of the church which I served at the time, and I would visit her and offer prayer and God’s word. She was a constant source of concern of us in the church, and we were able finally to go to her home and clean it all out.
I have had also encountered tossers: people who keep nothing. Walk into their homes and you wonder if anyone lives there. No signs of human existence are to be found. No magazines lying on the coffee table. Nothing out of place. It’s as though you are walking into a model home, except that people actually live there.
The latter of the two may be more pleasant to deal with, but neither seems to be a very healthy lifestyle. Keeping things that outlive their purposefulness makes for a trash heap. Throwing everything out may result in the loss of an unrecognized treasure.
The same is true of God’s word. Hoard it, keeping it to yourself only serves to thwart God’s intent for his people. We are to be lights shining in the darkness. Tossing God’s word aside leaves us without moral compass or foundation for faith.
The corrective for hoarders and tossers is to let God’s word instruct, shape, direct, empower, and call us forward in a life of love for the sake of Christ. We have been saved, forgiven of our sins, and empowered by the Holy Spirit. From that standing we hold to the word and promise of God so that we may love God and our neighbor truly, and from a free and pure heart.
The truth to which we cling is God’s faithfulness, love, grace, and goodness toward us in Jesus Christ. When we hold that in our hearts and let it show toward others, we are living out our true calling and purpose in faith in Jesus.