Farmville Enterprise October 3, 2018
Both sides of entire streets in neighborhood after neighborhood were piled high with mattresses, appliances, sheet rock, insulation, furniture and more. Driving through Trent Woods in New Bern last week served as good reinforcement for what I have been thinking about and working on for months. I have too much stuff; I need to get rid of a lot. It made me wonder how much I would have to move up or out if the threat of flooding loomed on North Waverly Street. How do my belongings help or hinder my ability to serve God? How do they enhance or detract from our family’s quality of life?
We live in a society where climate-controlled storage units are commonplace as well as attics and garages stuffed to the brim with things that might never be used. Here is an applicable parable from Jesus: “Then he said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.’ And he told them this parable: ‘The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, ‘You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself? This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.’” (Luke 12:15-21)
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus warns, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)
Some of us are more susceptible than others to the allure of owning too much. From what I have seen, many Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) should be applauded for their lack of attachment to expensive furniture, china, etc. The Tiny House movement is gaining popularity as people are trying to live more simply in smaller homes in order to focus on non-material things. FlyLady.net, an organizational website, has an acronym for “stuff” which is “something that undermines family fun.”
It is up to each Christian to consider prayerfully how God wants us to spend our money. God leads us individually as to how much we should give away. Where are you storing up your treasure?