From the Pulpit – August 3, 2019
Omaha World Herald
Reverend Eric L. Jay
One of the most popular shows in recent television programming has been the show “Hoarders”.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America website (www.adaa.org), “Hoarding is the persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value. The behavior usually has deleterious effects – emotional, physical, social, financial, and even legal – for a hoarder and family members.” Most interesting is what the ADAA identified as the root cause for hoarding. “The quantity of their collected items sets them apart from other people.”
Could the popularity of “Hoarders” be rooted in our shared obsession of being “set apart” from everyone else? Our post-modern and self-described “progressive” society and culture celebrates two inherently destructive ideals: 1) a materialistic measure for personal value, and 2) the idolatry of “self” as the creator of our own morality and destiny; the belief that we are gods unto ourselves.
Society’s cultural dogma that is propagated through every medium teaches that you can create your own destiny, you create your own joy and happiness, you give purpose to your own life and you define what is ultimately true. In the words of Billy Graham, “Self-centered indulgence, pride and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle.” There is never enough for a hoarder. Hoarding ourselves will only leave us spiritually empty and ever longing. As a hoarder hoards at the expense of their own health and that of those closest to them, our culture of self-identity, self-morality and self-worship only hurts ourselves.
It wouldn’t take you more than an afternoon of research to see how our progressive self-centeredness as a society has only proven to make us more self-destructive. In many ways we have forgotten how impotent we are as gods unto ourselves. Jesus’ parable of the rich fool in Luke 12:13-21 reminds us of the futility of being self-hoarders. There was a self-made man who said to himself, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
There is nothing in this world and certainly nothing in ourselves that either has the power to satisfy what our souls ultimately long for or to save us from the death our sin deserves and that we so often try to mask with materialism and pride. True and meaningful life both for today and for eternity is only found in being rich toward God and through a relationship with His Son Jesus Christ who has freed us from the bondage of sin and self through his death and resurrection.
Singer and songwriter Elias Dummer sums it up perfectly when he says in his new song Enough, “Jesus, you are enough for me. With nothing; I still have everything. Jesus, you are enough for me.”