“Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Matthew 19:21 NIV
How do you overcome your obsession with stuff? You give it away. The rich young ruler Jesus was talking to in the above verse couldn’t do it. He couldn’t sell all of his possessions for entrance into heaven. He couldn’t give up the tangible for the intangible. And neither can we. We can’t grasp the concept that what we have today is only temporary, that eternity is what we can’t see (2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV). All of us are the rich young ruler, focused on our worldly possessions instead of our heavenly rewards. If we want to overcome our obsession with stuff, we have to give it away.
Money can be considered stuff. I was getting a little too tied to money the other day. I was thinking about it all the time, worrying about it. I knew to break the thought pattern, I needed to give some away. When I bought lunch that day, I also bought lunch for the lady behind me. That one act broke my obsession with money. I was able to gain perspective about how temporary it truly is. But the smile on the ladies face I bought lunch for, that was priceless! Overcome stuff’s hold on you by giving it away.
Overcome stuff’s hold on you by giving it away.
I was recently watching one of my favorite shows. In this particular episode, the toddler had lost her security blanket. Security blankets are something a child clings to that for whatever reason, makes them feel safe. When this child lost her blanket, she had lost her sense of safety. Our stuff can be the same thing as a child’s security blanket. We feel safe when we are surrounded by the physical things we love. But just as the child lost her security blanket, we can lose our stuff just as easily. If we lose our stuff, we lose our safety. Unless we seek our safety and security from a source that will never leave nor forsake us (Deut. 31:6 NIV).
Jesus is not temporary. When we give away the temporary, we find the eternal. When we overcome our obsession with stuff by letting it go, we find truth. We find peace. We find Jesus.
Jesus tells his followers to pick up their cross daily and follow Him (Matthew 6:24 NIV). Sometimes, in order to pick up the cross we have to lay down our stuff. We can’t hold both at the same time. Whichever we choose to hold, the other we have to let go. When we give away our stuff, we are creating room to pick up the cross.
Question of the Day:
What stuff do you need to give away today?
Further Reading: Exodus 8:1-9:35 NIV, Matthew 19:13-30 NIV, Psalm 24:1-10 NIV, Proverbs 6:1-5 NIV