Are you a hoarder? I used to be, before I learned Christ.
But no longer. Now, at least once every year, we unload our closets, lay down our clothes on the bed and separate those we would like to be given away. For my children’s clothes, it’s easy to do that: we pick out those that no longer fit them. But for my clothes, and since I unload regularly, I choose those that I have not worn for a long time, even though they still fit me and are slightly used. I also try to remove a few whenever I’ve purchased new ones.
We collect them in large plastic bags and send them to some outreach stations in the provinces, and also to my hometown where there are families in the barrios that need them.
Most outreach stations of our Church in the provinces bring the Gospel to remote areas where mostly, families live in dire poverty. When these poor families are converted and would want to attend worship service, they usually don’t have decent clothes to wear for church. And this is the reason why we intentionally and regularly unload some of our clothes to be given to these newly-converted brethren.
Our children’s used clothes, shoes, toys and books are usually distributed in December where kids in these barrios receive them as Christmas gifts.
This year, we have started unloading weeks ago, and though we aren’t done yet, we have already sent two large bagfuls of bedspreads, curtains, throw pillows, and clothing to my home province. I decided to give away the beddings and curtains that were no longer being used (that is, these have been replaced by newer ones), for they were occupying a lot of space in the closets. This year, we also unloaded some dining and kitchen stuff. There are still boxes of unused dinner sets and kitchen gadgets, our wedding gifts of a decade and a year ago. I decided that these, too, will have to go.
And that is another reason for our unloading of our stuff: to avoid hoarding, which is not at all right before God. We are often reminded of that parable of a hoarder in Luke 12 who didn’t know how to give away and share what he had. God said to this rich hoarder:
Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. (Luke 12:20, 21)
This is not only trying to unclutter our closets, cabinets and cupboards, but practicing intentional giving. Garage sale is an option for others, but for me, selling these items to earn a few pesos would reduce their value and the resulting proceeds wouldn’t help the recipient much.
Unloading our stuff and giving them away not only lighten our storage places but also our hearts: to know that the people who receive them are truly glad and their heartfelt gratitude goes up to God who is the source of it all.
How about you? Do you have closets that are so full of stuff they are bursting at the seams? Cabinets that have become heavy of clutter they are about to collapse? Try unloading and giving them away to those who are really in need, and you will not only make them happy, but you will be bringing yourself a ton of happiness, too!