Is Your Stuff Keeping You from Jesus?
- DiAne Gates GriefShare
- Updated Nov 16, 2016
Keep me from Jesus?
Come on, all these things are His blessings, right?”
Or could they be cravings? Or perhaps even idols?
I grew up in a three bedroom, one bathroom home; my mother, father, brother, and me. And I don’t remember any squabbles over bathroom time. We had one car, one telephone, one television and we not only survived—we thrived.
Unexpected friends often dropped by for a visit and stayed for supper. Summer evenings included a churn of homemade ice cream shared with friends in the backyard. We vacationed at the lake. And every Wednesday, Daddy took the afternoon off and we piled in the car headed for Little Talbot Island, fishing, and a picnic on the beach.
Compared to today’s elegant houses, multiple cars in the driveway, and every convenience known to man, ours were modest at best. But when we sat down to supper, no one thought about making a phone call—we talked with each other after Daddy prayed. And when we went to our favorite seafood restaurant there were no text messages to interrupt family time.
Television ushered in the age of see more, want more, and in the years following, advertisements assaulted families from our multiple HDTV’s, iPhones, iPads, and computers screaming buy me, buy me! And we gobbled up more and more of these conveniences turned necessities. Then we needed larger houses, newer cars, and better jobs. Stuff, stuff, and more stuff we believed we needed to survive. Bigger stuff, better stuff, necessary stuff.
All this technology continues to require more money which requires two incomes—mom and dad working to buy the stuff we convinced ourselves are blessings from Jesus, yet we use plastic to cover the costs. And the effects of this lifestyle shuffle Jesus to the back of the line, behind Little League, football, cheerleading, dance, you fill in the blanks. And sometimes we even shove Him out the door.
There’s no time to sit with Jesus. No time to read His Word. And no time to teach our kids to treasure those ancient words because we run out of day before we finish tending the urgent, neglecting the important, and falling into bed mumbling a weary “Thank you for this day, Lord.” He’s left with our snores and our stuff.
Any good parent is eager to give their children a better life than they had, right? But is this what Jesus teaches? Aren’t we modeling more stuff’s better—less stuff’s not good, and in the process losing the peace and love and transforming relationship that putting Jesus first ensures?
Several years back, a saying took root among young people: “He who dies with the most toys wins.” And I ask you, “Wins what? Toys?” Is that what the life God grants us on earth is about? Winning more toys? Isn’t that in direct opposition to Scripture?
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:19-21 NAS).
Where is your treasure? The only things going into the Eternal Kingdom are the Word of God and the children of God. When the Father says "Son, go get My children," will He find you ready and waiting, or will you be clinging to your stuff?
DiAne Gates illustrates and writes fiction for children and YA, and serious non-fiction for the folks. Her passion is calling the church’s attention to how far we’ve catapulted from God’s order as evidenced by her blog Moving the Ancient Boundaries. DiAne worked as a photographer and writer for the East Texas Youth Rodeo Association magazine, and had the opportunity to be in the rodeo arena, giving birth to her western rodeo adventure series, ROPED, available on Amazon. The sequel, TWISTED, will be released by Prism in early 2017. She also facilitates GriefShare, an international support ministry for those who’ve lost loved ones.
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: November 16, 2016