My husband is a general contractor who does insurance restoration work and recently received a call from an insurance company on a claim. An electrical short had caused damage to a home due to a blown transformer. He arrived at the house located in a remote location to find a distraught little old lady. Sadly, she had previously been married to a Hollywood star yet was now living alone and desolate.
Entering the house my husband cringed because this lady was a hoarder. There was only an 18” path leading from the living room to the kitchen to the bathroom and the laundry room. You could not make out any furniture, the kitchen was completely unusable, and he couldn’t even see the washer and dryer. Stacked 5 foot high was STUFF.
Because it was an electrical problem, he had to have access to every electrical outlet in the house. The few he did see had exposed wires. The implied small job became a huge endeavor.
A hoarder is defined as someone who accumulates; keeps hidden or private; to stockpile. Most hoarders hold on to stuff thinking they will need it someday. But in the process, their accumulation becomes unmanageable and it gets out of control………….much like my thoughts.
In a way, I have become a “negative thought” hoarder. I hold onto thoughts that I no longer need. I rationalize that with: I may need them someday! Or, I have to protect myself! Therefore I retain hurt, anger, pain and offense.
At first I began with little stacks. Then I put stacks in a box and label them with a name or an offense. Quickly the boxes become piles. And before long I have cluttered boxes with various names. Inadvertently, I become careless. I have carried so many negatives thoughts I lose the sense of organization and start tossing my new stacks on top of my already four foot piles. In a short time my hoarded thoughts are out of control. And it is a mess……
Lord help anyone that has the audacity to suggest I clean it up! Why?
· Because I became comfortable clinging to my trash thoughts.
· I hold onto thoughts that I should discard.
· I adopted hoarding negative thoughts as a way of life.
· I’m not willing to let them go.
Philippians 4:8 says, “….Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
· TRUE – what is real, accurate, spot-on
Are my thoughts real and accurate? OR are my thoughts blown out of proportion and now magnified?
· HONORABLE – decent, worthy, moral, good
Are my thoughts decent and moral? Or would my thoughts be considered inappropriate?
· RIGHT – correct, exact, proper
Are my thoughts correct and exact? Or have my thoughts become exaggerated and the truth stretched?
· PURE – clean, wholesome, untainted
Are my thoughts clean and wholesome? Or are my thoughts dirty and negative?
· LOVELY – beautiful, attractive, charming
Are my thoughts lovely? Or are my thoughts ugly?
· ADMIRABLE – commendable, excellent, splendid
Are my thoughts superb? Or are my thoughts repulsive and hateful?
· EXCELLENT – outstanding, brilliant, exceptional
Are my thoughts above board? Or are my thoughts unworthy and second-rate?
· WORTHY OF PRAISE – deserving, attribute, gracious
Are my thoughts worthy of consideration? Or are my thoughts disgraceful and dishonorable?
Clarity came as I studied the meanings of the list of words in Philippians. As I considered each word and meditated on whether I truly thought on good and right things I was astonished. Like physical exercise when we stop working out – our muscles turn to mush and the fat cells begin to increase. Likewise, so do our thoughts.
I am learning to create a filter for my thought life. Instead of just accepting whatever pops up, I sift through what is acceptable and what is not.
A few people have been a tremendous help in teaching me how to stop hoarding negative thoughts:
· Kristen Clarke from His Side of the Looking Glass. http://hissideofthelookingglass.com. The 21 day online course transforms the way you see yourself for it shows you the way God looks at you.
· Michelle Rayburn from her book – The Repurposed & Upcycled Life. http://www.michellerayburn.com. God can take the seemingly junk in your life and turn it into treasure.
· Kathy Collard Miller from Heart Change. http://www.kathycollardmiller.blogspot.com. Kathy has helped me to acknowledge the clutter in my thought life and how to see the “junk” for what it really is.
How is your thought life doing? Do you need help de-cluttering? Do you need to think good things and reorganize what you think about? The Lord is willing to help and so are these women. Check out their blogs……