“Stop collecting treasures for your own benefit on earth, where moth and rust eat them and where thieves break in and steal them. Instead, collect treasures for yourselves in heaven, where moth and rust don’t eat them and where thieves don’t break in and steal them. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21, Common English Bible).
This one is tough for me. I love my stuff. I am not saying I can’t give any of it up, I can, but I still love my stuff. In particular, I love my guitars. In my life I have owned seven guitars. I still have six. I know, as collections go, mine is pretty small. Still, I do love my guitars. And, that one I no longer have, yeah, it was stolen out of my office at the church (not my current church and it was taken during a break in) a few years back. And, believe it or not, I didn’t shed too many tears when it was gone. Though I only had two guitars at the time, I pretty well looked at it, “It’s just a guitar. I enjoyed it while I had it. Now its time to move on.”
I enjoy all of them. And with the possible exception of my first guitar (a gift from my parents) I would probably react much the same to any of them. They are just things to use. They may bring me some enjoyment now but when they are gone, I hope they bring someone else some enjoyment. And yes, even whoever stole my little blue guitar.
I have viewed electronics much the same way. For most of my adult life I have had a computer at home. I enjoy using them. But, when their useful life comes to an end, getting rid of it has never been particularly difficult.
I really do think that is the key. It isn’t so much the stuff we have that Jesus is talking about in today’s reading. If it is, far more of us than not in American society have a real problem (and that could be the case). What is really at issue, it seems to me, is not what we have but its place of importance in our lives. When what we are and who we are rises and sets with the things we have, we are in real trouble.
Stuff may bring us enjoyment. I obviously enjoy my guitars and I have already said in this post how much I like my electronics. I know there are other things I enjoy having around too. But, I can’t let that interfere with my relationship with God and with the people God has placed in my life.
I will say right now, I’m really not a car guy. That being said, this week Cindy and I have been looking for a new car (well a new to us car). She had one in mind and I had another. I called her one afternoon this week and told her to go ahead and get the car she wanted. She is more important than the car we drive. Cars are just not that important. The relationship must mean more.
Most of us have stuff in our lives. If you are reading this right now you have a computer, a tablet or a smart phone or at least access to one. That means you have stuff. Having that stuff is OK. If that stuff means more to you than your relationships with God and with the gifts God has given you (the people), well not so much. You have missed the mark. It might be time to stop and re-evaluate.
What stuff do you have? How important is that stuff to you?
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Joy and Peace,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved