Monday, December 20, 2010

Hoarders - Spiritually Buried Alive

Hoarding is stocking goods, usually in secret from others, because of it's perceived value. Hoarding is a manifestation of fear. Fearful people are inclined to develop a mind-set that says: "There's not enough food for everyone, so I better be sure I save enough for myself in case of emergency," or "There's not enough knowledge for everyone to enjoy; so I'd better keep my knowledge to myself, so no one else will use it" or "There's not enough love to give to everybody, so I'd better keep my friends for myself to prevent others from taking them away from me."

This is a scarcity mentality. It involves hoarding whatever we have, fearful that we won't have enough to survive. The tragedy, however, is that what you cling to ends up rotting in your hands.

God is a god of abundance, not a god of scarcity. Jesus reveals to us God's abundance when he offers so much bread to the people that there are twelve large baskets with leftover scraps (John 6:5-15), and when he makes his disciples catch so many fish that their boat nearly sinks (Luke 5:1-7).

Henri Nouwen said, "As long as we say, 'I will love you, God, but first show me your generosity,' we will remain distant from God and unable to experience what God truly wants to give us, which is life and life in abundance." God is a generous giver, but we can only see and enjoy God's generosity when we love God with all of our hearts, minds, and strength.

*Reflections on Henri Nouwen's book Bread for the Journey.

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