November 17, 2006
Encouragement for Today
Lysa TerKeurst, President of Proverbs 31 Ministries
1 Timothy 6:17, “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything we need for enjoyment.” (NIV)
Have you fallen prey to the “Hoarder Disorder?” You’ve heard the old expression: “Save the Best for Last.” Well, “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow” is more like it as far as I’m concerned. It’s time to get rid of the mindset that we must collect all we can, store it away, and only use it on special occasions. instead we need to start savoring what we have today. I’m not talking about living a frivolous lifestyle where we make impulsive choices that hurt us in the long run. I’m simply talking about living each day to the fullest, putting to good use the little gifts that God allows us to enjoy whether we realize it or not.
Today’s Key Verse is a good reminder that we won’t be able to take what we’ve saved with us when we leave this earth. Life and possessions are uncertain, so God intended for them to be used for our enjoyment (gasp!!!) while we still have them. In fact, King Solomon reflected on this truth in Ecclesiastes 2:18-20 when he stated, “I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the work into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun.”
Think about that candle that cost a little too much but you just loved the way it smelled. So, you bought it but only burn it for company. No, no, no! Get it right now and burn it because you like the way it smells. And while you’re at it, go get a plate of the china you never use. Even if you’re just eating peanut butter and jelly on it, use it to make you or the kids feel a little special. And that nice outfit that just hangs in your closet for the once a year company party – go, put it on. You may look silly but you’re doing it in high style, with fancy china by candlelight!
A friend of mine was at a scrap booking party where she shared her hesitancy to use her “good” stickers. A lady quipped back at her, “You’ve got hoarder disorder and you need to get over it. Pull those stickers out right now and use them. What in the world are you really saving them for?”
How true! Do we really think when we are old and gray that there is going to be a contest at the old folks’ home where an announcer steps up to a squeaky microphone and says, “Whoever has the most unburned candles, mint condition china, best stickers and never worn out-of-date clothes wins an extra bingo chip.”
I don’t want an extra bingo chip fifty years from now. I want to be a happy person today. I want to be a mother with a smile on her face. I want to teach my kids that it doesn’t mean you are a worldly person if you happen to find a little joy in the things of this world that bring your heart comfort.
Wean yourself off hoarder disorder. Try having a date with your husband, or a night out with the girls. Do some scrap booking, get your hair done in the salon, or take a bubble bath after the kids are in bed. Plan something big like a vacation or a shopping trip for something you’ve saved up to buy. And don’t forget to invest yourself and your resources in eternal things that have lasting value.
My Prayer for Today:
Dear Giver of every Good and Perfect Gift, thank You for providing me with so many blessings at my disposal. Your gifts are both eternal and for this life. Show me how I can use them with wisdom, and remind me that I can’t take them with me when I leave this world. I pray that others would be blessed because I chose to not hoard what I have. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Storing up possessions for no useful purpose besides simply having riches is considered hoarding – it’s being stingy. Stinginess means that a person can afford to use what they’ve saved up for but they simply won’t use it because they’ve placed more emphasis on what it will cost them to do so.
Read Proverbs 23:5-7
- In what ways might you have hoarder disorder?
- Why might this be?
- Do you think that being stingy is part of your refusal to put to good use what you have?
- Make a list of all those things you are hoarding away. Perhaps it’s your gourmet hot chocolate. Perhaps it’s that unused set of satin sheets you’ve had forever. Perhaps it’s cold hard cash you’ve accumulated with no purpose in mind.
- After you make your list, write down one way you can put each of your hoarded items to good use.
- Get busy having a little fun using them!
How have you watched one or many of your possessions “sprout wings and fly off?” How did it make you feel to lose it?
Did you ever maximize the use of that possession? Did you ever make the most out of what you had?
Proverbs 22:9, “A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.” (NIV)
Proverbs 23:5-7, “Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like and eagle. Do not eat the food of a stingy man, do not crave his delicacies; for he is the kind of man who is always thinking about the cost.” (NIV)
Acts 4:32, “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.” (NIV)
Matthew 6:19, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.” (NIV)
The Bathtub is Overflowing, but I Feel Drained; by Lysa TerKeurst
Refresh My Soul, ETC Corner
Can Martha Have a Mary Christmas by Brenda Poinsette
Originally published Friday, 17 November 2006.