Matthew 6:19-21 (NKJV) Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on 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 and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
What if you were faced with a decision today about your material possessions? What if you were only able to keep five things? What are your five most treasured possessions? What makes those five things so special to you? Were any of your choices made based on financial value? Are your favorite things special to you because of your connection with the person who gave them to you? Are they things you couldn’t live without? What would happen, if you no longer had them?
We can say we’re not materialistic until it comes to parting with our treasure.
As I’m going through some things I need to part with, I see that some of it has not stood the test of time so well, from a material sense—but even some of things that are decayed in one way or another, seem no easier to part with—decayed or not—when they came from someone close to you. How do we detach ourselves from material possessions without the feeling of loss and guilt?
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I enjoy looking at certain magazines and catalogs that feature home decorating ideas and furnishings. It’s refreshing to look at pictures of minimalistic rooms with only the barest of necessities. Imagine how easy those rooms would be to keep clean. It would take no time to whisk through the area with a vacuum cleaner and dust cloth—if the area was minus all of the clutter we find so important to have.
I know some of my present excess came about because of former times of lack. When my circumstances became better, and I was able to start collecting things, it gave me the feeling I was putting my life back together. Those items didn’t create the wholeness I was finally able to experience—it was God Who did the healing—but I associate the things I collected during that time with the mending process, and in that context—those items are special.
On the other hand, some depression could come about because of material possessions. Think about some of the things you own and your attachment to them. Some attachment is good, but too much attachment, to too many things—is bondage. Only you can be the judge of which things you own that could be considered healthy, or unhealthy to hold onto. I know it’s a touchy topic, but think about it.
Sometimes when you have way too many possessions, the depressing feelings you have might not necessarily be coming from the fact that you are attached to them. Maybe there is an overwhelming sense of dread, when you think of the responsibility you may someday have to face in knowing what to do with it all.
The Bible tells us not to lay up treasures on earth—but, oh, we do—don’t we? Most of us have more treasures than we know what to do with…and like it or not, there should come a point in time for all of us, when we take stock of what is prudent and necessary and do the responsible thing by getting our life in order.
If I had it to do all over again, I wouldn’t accumulate so much. However, there is something good thing about having a lot of things and being willing to become detached, in the way that it can allow you to become more of a giver.
The real point Jesus was trying to make in Matthew 6:19-21, was that if we spent less time accumulating and managing our accumulation—we’d have more time for the good things God wants us to do. As we do good works, we are building the kingdom of God. The things we do for God are His possession, and they will never rot or fade away.
Take some time to think about whether your possessions are pulling you down and holding you back.
Jesus probably didn’t own a house. He also didn’t own any of the entertainment devices we have available to us today, and all of the other items we find so fascinating. Jesus lived in a time where there we less distractions, but He still had choices to make, just like we do. He made the right decision and didn’t encumber Himself. He also lived a life that was focused on accomplishing spiritual victories with eternal value.
He wanted us to carry on His work. Are we doing that?
Declaration: I will find new strength by seeing my possessions through the eyes of faith. I am purposing in my heart to detach myself from too many things. Instead, I will think of Jesus and all of the things He was able to do without, as He was here on earth.
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