“Let it go, let it go, Can’t hold it back anymore, Let it go, let it go, Turn my back and slam the door” Disney’s Frozen lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez.
Do you realize the attachment that you have to your stuff? My guess is that your answer, along with mine, is “NO,” we don’t realize the attachment we have to our stuff. In fact, not only do we not realize it, but we are blind to our attachment to our things.
We in America have more stuff than ever. We have rental storage facilities where people store their stuff. Their attics, garages, and closets are full of items that may not be looked at for years. We may have bins of memorabilia and keepsakes that collect dust and never see the light of day. Why do we keep this stuff? Why is it a treasure to us? Partially, we may have created a sort of ‘survival mentality’ where we feel like we may need this stuff at some point in the future, so we can’t part with it. Or, we feel like if we get rid of memorabilia, that somehow we are dishonoring our memories. Whatever the reason we accumulate stuff, we are storing up potential danger within ourselves. The more importance we place on our stuff, the less room we have for our importance on God. The two offset each other. When one is higher, the other is lower, and when the other is lower, the one is higher. We cannot get away from God’s truth in His Word, no matter how well we think we might be managing it.
Jesus warns us about the dangers of having too much stuff. It’s very serious and we don’t want to get there…
“16 And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19 Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 23 And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”” Matthew 19:16-24
Are you rich? If you live in the United States as I do, you are, even though you may be in the lower tax brackets, you are wealthier than most in the entire world. If you can afford more than one meal a day, if you have more than two outfits in your closet, if you have a rented or mortgaged place to lay your head, and if you have transportation, you are most assuredly rich in comparison to most of the world. So, with the responsibility of being rich comes also the great danger that Jesus discussed in Matthew.
So, what to do? I’ve personally been convicted to downsize over this past year. It’s been a hard process (as I’ve come to realize my attachment to my stuff) and I continue to evaluate and get rid of as much as possible, but I’m still finding it difficult. The other thing I’ve realized through trying to downsize is that I have wasted way too much over the years on my own desires and haven’t spent as much time thinking about what God may want with my funds. I could have done so much more for Him, but I chose to be selfish and purchase more than I needed. If you are finding yourself with these same feelings, I don’t think it’s too late to flee danger.
“Let it Go! Let it Go!… Turn my back and slam the door” – Frozen.
I’ve found that the more time I spend in God’s Word and the more I think about living in heaven with Jesus, the less I desire material things. So, I will continue to spend as much time as possible learning God’s Word and focusing on removing my earthly treasures and storing up heavenly treasures.
“33 Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Luke 12:33-34
Father God, Forgive us for hording treasures of this earth and seeking to put importance on those treasures above you. Help us to shift our attachments from stuff to you, help us to get rid of what we don’t need, help us to not purchase items that are not needed, and help us to pay more attention to helping others with this surplus. Thank you, God, that you forgive us for our disobedience and show us the right way to live. Shift our priorities! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.