Friday, July 3, 2009

Just Passing Through

The other night my sons were watching an episode of the show "Clean House". They called out to me, "Hey Mom, you have to see this lady, she has the worst house ever!" In this particular episode a woman and her daughter were indeed living in the most cluttered house in America. This woman had such a huge problem that the walls of her basement were not visible and neither was the floor! Her attic was so full that the ceiling cracked and not only that, every room in her house was cluttered up with mounds of stuff. When they cleared the clutter her stuff filled up a 7000 sq. ft. warehouse! When they had her look at all the stuff that had been in her house, she refused to admit that she had any kind of a problem.

Watching that show rattled me. I started thinking about my own shopping habits, things that have tempted me, etc. Then I got to thinking that our society is all about buying the bigger, better or more up-to-date thing. Society is not based on contentment, but rather discontent. This made me realize that I really need to loosen my grip on "stuff". Jesus said "One's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses." (Luke 12:15) So that means, having loads of "stuff" is not what life is about. We should not wrap our life up in acquiring and holding tightly to earthly things. "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." (Matthew 6:19-20). Or how about "Since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be?" (2 Peter 3:11).

If it is true that we are only travelers passing through this world to the next, then should we not loosen our grip on worldly things? We should. If we hang on too tightly we are in danger of being taken captive by "stuff". God wants us to be good stewards of what He has given us. Stewards are people that are morally responsible for the careful use of money, time, talents, or other resources of someone else. Its not ours, it is all His. That is why Job could say "The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised." (Job 1:21) He realized that it was not his to begin with.