When Our Stuff Gets In The Way
Posted: Friday, January 29
Verse of the day:
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.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” (Matthew 19:21-22)
I like stuff. I like my house, iPhone, cameras, watches and recliner chair. In general, stuff is not inherently good or bad. In many ways, our possessions make our lives easier, more comfortable and more fun. However, we must be aware that our things have the potential to hurt our relationships with other people and God.
Our stuff requires a portion of our time and treasure. We spend time and money researching, shopping for and purchasing items. We spend time and money using, caring for, cleaning, repairing, riding, upgrading, playing with and watching our things.
Jesus warns that our possessions have the potential to become so consuming that they block us from our ability to follow Him. Jesus told a wealthy young man that being a good person by keeping the commandments is not enough to receive eternal life. He said, “sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me” (Matthew 19:21 ESV).
Jesus is not saying that everyone must sell of all of their possessions first in order to be a Christ follower. Rather, Jesus recognizes that this particular young man’s heart is so consumed with his wealth and possessions that it will not be possible for him to begin a meaningful relationship with Christ until he parts way with his treasure. The assessment of the man’s spiritual condition is confirmed when he responds by walking away.
Our possessions have the potential to hinder or even block us from spiritual growth. We should take notice if we find ourselves skipping worship services, neglecting personal prayer, turning down opportunities to serve or refusing to volunteer so that we can use that time to be with our stuff.