We are all hoarders at heart. While some may feel pride that they have not yet been featured on an episode of the reality TV show, Hoarders, we all collect and keep far more then we need. Maybe this is more of a problem nowadays because of greater access to cheap consumer goods, or maybe it has always been a problem and I am just more aware of it because I am older. After all, I remember 30 years ago when my grandmother died, we hauled off what seemed like hundreds of boxes of Jello she had “collected.” She had examples of every packaging design from the 1970s and 1980s in her collection. It is hard to let go. After all we might need those things we have never needed. Those ties might come back in style. Those broken appliances and toys could one day be fixed. We might find the device that fits that old power adapter. And, of course, some of the things we can’t let go remind us of times and friends we have had to let go. So, we live cluttered lives.
Of course, we know all about Marie Kondo’s books and the FlyLady’s website. We have been exposed to countless books on decluttering and websites that give us the technical expertise to become masters in the art of decluttering. Yet the problem is not one of technique, but of will. How willing are we to let go? Issues of the heart are always the heart of the issue. Consider how this is true of the greatest and most perilous clutter that we tend to collect — unforgiveness. Forgiveness is at the heart of the Christian gospel and the Christian life, but many Christians’ lives are cluttered with unforgiveness. Like a hoarder’s house, so full of junk that it has become little more than a maze, many lives are so full of bitterness that there is no room of joy, love, peace or normal living. The biblical words for forgiveness derive their meaning from the idea of letting go. Letting go of the debts of others, letting go of the sins of others, and letting go of the hurts others have inflicted. Like our clutter, we want it gone, but don’t want to let it go.
Yet the heart of the gospel is forgiveness and the one whose life is changed by the gospel is called to live a life of forgiveness. We all know this, but we struggle with the implications. In the book of Genesis, Joseph had a lot of reasons to be bitter and to store up resentments against his brothers, yet the Lord led him on a long journey of faith and forgiveness that allowed him to let go of the spiritual clutter that might have robbed him of life. Join us this Lord’s Day, June 24, as we examine Genesis 45 and consider from the life of Joseph what it means to express and experience forgiveness. We meet from 5:00 – 6:30 pm in The Commons at St. Andrews Anglican Church at 8300 Kanis Rd in Little Rock. Click here for directions. Come with a friend you and join us for fellowship and conversation. We look forward to seeing you there.