LIFE ISN’T ABOUT STUFF

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“He then told them, “Watch out and be on guard against all greed, because one’s life is not in the abundance of his possessions.”  Luke 12:15 CSB

The beginning of this section in my Bible says, “The Parable of the Rich Fool.”  In this parable a rich man has a lot of land that has produced an abundance of crops.  He doesn’t know what to do with all of his “stuff.” He decides to tear down his existing barns, build new, bigger ones, then sit back and relax.  He decides to “take it easy; eat, drink, and enjoy” himself (Luke 12:19b CSB). God didn’t agree with his plan, His reply: “You fool! This very night your life is demanded of you.  And the things you have prepared-whose will they be?” (Luke 12:20 CSB). Jesus explains that when we put our treasure here on earth it won’t last, only the treasures we store with God will last.

In a 2018 article by Patrick Sisson, “Self-storage: How Warehouses for Personal Junk Became a $38 Billion Industry”, 1 out of 11 Americans pay for storage space every month.  Building a storage unit has become one of the best ways to invest money in real estate, even through the economic down turn of recent years. There are more than 50,000 storage facilities in our country and the average cost people are paying per month is $91.14.  Apparently, from these statistics, there are a lot of “Rich Fools” in America. My husband and I don’t have a storage unit, but we do have a lot of junk. We have an attic full of stuff, no idea what is all up there. I’m constantly cleaning out closets and finding crap I completely forgot I owned.  I have even been guilty of buying the exact same shirt twice. We have an abundance of stuff in America, and it takes us away from the simple life.

The more stuff we have, the more stuff we have to take care of each day.  Our stuff can consume us. We become attached to the things we have, our phones, our computers, our cars.  Stuff can easily take the place of God in our hearts. We have to be on guard against greed, we have to be careful what kind of treasures we are storing up.  We can gain insight into what we are to treasure from Jesus’ own mom, Mary. After Jesus’ birth, in the stable when the shepherds came bearing gifts it says, “But Mary treasured all of these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19 NIV).  What was she pondering? Jesus and the miracles that came with Him. Those are the treasures we should be seeking. The miracle of life all around us, the miracles of healing, the miracles of God’s provision, the miracles of love. All of these things are treasures from God, for us.  None of God’s miracles need a storage unit to put them in, they are stored in our heart, they are our riches in heaven. When we store the treasures of God’s grace and love in our hearts, they are eternal, nothing can take them away. The stuff we have here on earth will be left behind, but our hearts, they will always be with God.

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