My husband and I have just been through the stressful period of moving after 40 years in the one house. If anyone had asked me 3 months ago if I placed store on material possessions I would have said emphatically “no”! I have always thought that I could live anywhere and with very little. In fact, I used to laugh and say “I could live in a tent”. That being so, I would gloss over the passage in Matthew which talked about giving up your possessions and following Christ.
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
All that changed when we had to give away (by nearly a half) our furniture, craft materials, work tools, recipe books etc. etc. before we moved into a much smaller home. My tears fell as I saw more and more of my treasures going to other homes.
In light of our move and my reaction to giving away things that I loved, I returned again to this passage in Matthew and it took on a whole new meaning for me. I believe that it is not important how many or how valuable our possessions are, but how much value we place on them. It is not wrong to have beautiful things around us, but we must not put them before or above God. We must not value them to the detriment of our service, our love or our devotion to God.
Loving Lord, help me to see my possessions as merely that – possessions – not items that I value over my love for You. Let me use the things around me to help others so that they may come to know You and love You. Praise and thank You that You nudge us every now and again and open our eyes to what you wish us to see when we become complacent and rely on earthly things. Amen.
By Terry Stead
Used by Permission