October 18, 2016
Jesus replied, ‘Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?’ Then He said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions’ (Luke 12:14-15, NIV).
Friend to Friend
Oh, it starts innocently enough.
It’s that small (or not so small) obsession with shoes. A little time on Zappos.com never hurt anyone.
Or the collection of books that seems to be growing by the nightstand (because Amazon 1-click makes it just that easy…)
It’s that drawer of gadgets, full of tools that will save you oh-so-much time in the kitchen or at work.
I’ve been there so many times – when I’ve been buying too much. More than I need or could really even use. Amazon becomes dangerous. Going to the mall becomes a mind battle. And don’t even get me started on darkening the doors of a Barnes & Noble. I’ve caught myself too many times in the grips of wanting to have All. The. Things.
This is a familiar place for me. I didn’t recognize it when it all first started to happen, but now I understand the signs: when I feel like I’m not enough, when I feel like I don’t have enough.
And that’s when I truly understand that all the forms of greed: buying too many possessions, not wanting to share with others, not giving money to the poor, are warnings - not just because they hurt others - but because they are truly outward indicators of an inward problem.
That feeling starts to creep in – that feeling of being stressed to impress. When I spend time worrying about how others will perceive me, when I’m thinking about friends coming over and what they will think of my house. When I’m meeting someone new for work and I’m overly concerned about what I’m wearing, I know my heart is tangled up in the world.
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21) nails it.
Yes, an accurate indicator of where my heart is can be determined by where my wallet is. Am I opening my wallet for the poor, the needy? To support ministries and causes I know God cherishes? Or do I pour out my wallet at Target and Home Goods and Amazon? Is my heart set on heavenly things, or on the third set of decorator pillows I’ve bought that will finally “tie the room together.” Because alas, the room being together does not mean that I’m together.
These ideas should not be met with guilt – they should be embraced with hope. Maybe you too have been caught in the cycle of possession obsession and have been looking for a way out. Jesus is clear – if you want your treasure to be in Him, your heart needs to be in Him. By increasing our time and attention, and yes, even our finances towards the direction of heaven, we can reposition where our heart hangs out.
Dear Lord, Help me to free myself from the desire to possess. Help me manage my money, possessions and resources well so that when people see what I have, they know whose I am and what my priority is – only You.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Is there an area of your spending where God has been nudging you? Pray about that area today to see what better plans God has for you.
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