Last Sunday at church my preacher spoke about greed. He talked about worldly possessions and how we have way too much of everything. One of the points that he made was all of the storage buildings that have been popping up over the last few years. We now have to pay to have all of our stuff stored. Lol!
Then he asked how many of us had garages or attics that were filled to the gills with stuff. He started out by asking for us to think about each area in our home and to think what it was filled with. We were told not to raise our hands but to internally go over each area as he mentioned it. He started with the basement. Smugly I thought, nope, because I don’t have a basement. Then he went on to the attic. Once again I was able to shake my head because mine only contains insulation. If he had stopped right there then I would have been fine but unfortunately, he continued on. The garage, outbuildings, spare bedrooms, and cabinets were all on the list and then he got to the one that might have put the arrow through my heart………….the closet(s).
He said that ALL of that could be categorized into two areas, stuff and junk. Then he asked if we knew the difference. His answer was different from mine. He said that junk was stuff we could live without and stuff was junk that we thought we needed. My answer was stuff was my things and junk was Joe’s things. Lol!
Why do we feel the need to consume? Is it because we actually have a need? Is it because we are greedy? Or is it because we are envious? I honestly can’t say for certain which it is for me because I have a “reason” for everything I have. Don’t we always have a perfectly good reason to do what we do?
I am pretty certain that my needs could be met with MUCH fewer things. I could get by with a couple of pots and pans for cooking but I have 2 cabinets full even though I am not one who even cooks a lot. How many sheets do I need for each bed in the house? In theory, I could wash and dry the set that is on the bed and put them right back on instead of having a linen closet packed with multiple sets of sheets. Don’t even get me started on my coffee cups in my cupboard right now. We could drink coffee for 2 weeks or more without having to wash a single cup. Obviously, I have a lot of “stuff.”
Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
I blame television and the internet for all the stuff. I can be perfectly happy with my living room or kitchen and then I will catch the latest episode of the Fixer Upper and suddenly I feel like my house was the before one. I NEED to upgrade it because now it is not good enough. Scrolling Facebook can really send you into a buying spree. “Did you see John and Mary’s latest vacation? Susie and Joe just bought a boat, doesn’t that sound like something we need too? Joanne’s husband bought her a huge diamond ring for her anniversary present. My husband never buys me nice things like that.” Those are not needs and they really are not even wants. Those are just examples of envy. We see something and we want it too. I think it is called “keeping up with the Joneses.”
Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.
Money is a whole different issue. I may spend freely but do I give as freely? Here is where greed can be found. Every time I tried to even type a scenario I would find myself hesitating. No, I don’t give to the poor as often as I should. The thought will pop into my mind, “I work hard for my money, could they not work too?” I don’t know people’s circumstances and I can only judge by my life. In my life, they should be able to work. But, I am not privy to their story so I must give on faith that there is a true need and not a scam or just laziness on their part.
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.
The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.
How much money do I need in my savings account? When it comes to this, I feel sort of like the squirrel putting acorns into the tree for the long winter ahead. Retirement is looming and the lack of income coming in weekly can be scary. The thoughts of outliving our savings are probably the biggest fear of retirees. So, why would you give away the money that you might need later in life?
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
In all honesty, I think there is a fine line when it comes to all of these things. I do not believe that you will be punished for enjoying some of the fruits of your labor. I know that the Bible talks about being smart and working like the ant to store for the coming months ahead so working and planning for your retirement is smart. I believe that the problem arises when it is the “love” of the possessions and the “love” of the money.
Be thankful for all that you have been given. Celebrate with your friends instead of envying their good fortune. Be grateful for your income and any amount you are able to give. Remember, the Lord blessed you and He wants you to enjoy all He has given you.
Have A Blessed Day!