Refresh: Begin with prayer. Ask for the Holy Spirit to open your heart to new understanding and for God’s character to be revealed.
Read: Luke 12:13-21 in the New International Version (NIV). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: We are a culture more in love with material things than ever before. We are consumed with consuming. We are in a constant cycle of upgrades, updates, getting the latest, fastest, newest, biggest, smallest, and coolest. Sure, it's nice to have stuff. But the next time you are tempted to buy something, ask yourself, "Am I stocking up on possessions or treasures?" So often we confuse the two. We see our material goods as the treasures in our lives. But they are not. At best, they are just things we possess. At worst, they are things that possess us.
Jesus teaches that God does indeed want us to be rich, but He defines riches very differently than the world does. Our riches are not possessions. Our riches are treasures. (see Matthew 6:19-20) What's the difference? A good friend sent me a list that I think perfectly illustrates this point:
You possess a job . . . You treasure your family.
You possess a house . . . You treasure your home.
You possess a bank account . . . You treasure your friends.
You possess a car . . . You treasure your freedom.
You possess a wardrobe . . . You treasure your health.
You possess an appointment book . . . You treasure your time.
You possess a heart . . . You treasure love.
Recalibrate: Take another look at the list above. What are some treasures you have taken for granted? What are some things you could spend more time “storing up”?
Respond: Pray that God will give you the wisdom to know which things you posses and which things you should treasure.
Research: Read the excellent article by Laura Singleton, titled “Stuff Love.”
Sam Leonor loves his work as chaplain to the students and faculty of La Sierra University. His ministry is marked by a call to radical faith in Jesus. He loves finding ways to engage culture deeply for the sake of the Gospel. He has devoted his ministry to helping young adults bloom into a faith that is growing, mission oriented, and full of love.
I got lost in a baby store the other day because there was so much stuff I had never seen before! It all looked so complicated and there was so much more than I had ever imagined. How much do we need? Take stock, hold on to what you love, and let the rest go.
Check out all that you have. Do you have more than you need or even want? Check with your parents, then choose to share what you have with someone else by donating some things to a shelter or a Good Will store.
When I look at my closet, I see a lot of clothes I do not wear. When you look at your life, do you see things you do not use? Do you have more than one coat or more than a few pairs of sneakers? Try
and gather things you no longer use and share them with a friend or donate them to a Good Will store.