Yesterday afternoon I was out showing a friend the path of destruction left by the deadly tornado's that struck this area Wednesday April 27th and it got me thinking again about our 'stuff''. The days I helped various homeowners pick up debris and mementos off their property was sad and also taught me something. We accumulate so many things that sometimes we do not even use and they just sit around gathering dust and cobwebs. I think about the habit I used to have of thinking I needed a sound track to a movie after I saw it or the movie itself then the VHS tapes sit on the shelf or the DVDs pile up and when do you ever really have time to watch them? Sure we are helping the economy when we buy these things but lots of stuff we buy 'in the moment' such as tee shirts at a rock concert for instance or goofy souvenirs. It just dawned on me that day seeing all these homeowners possessions strewn all over their yards and some blown miles away that why do we even bother having some stuff anyway unless we really use it? We will all die someday and our tons of possessions may not be things your children really want to hassle with. I guess this made me think of what I buy from now on. This is not to say I will never make a spur of the moment stupid purchase but as my grandma used to say, "a fool and his money are soon parted." Why not save up money in a fund and start paying cash for big purchases that you really need and do not go into debt charging 'toys' that are not needed to make your life better anyway?
This is not about being materialistic but this is about asking ourselves why we have so many things we do not really need. Perhaps sometimes even to the point of clutter. Have you seen the TV Show 'Hoarders'? Now that is to the extreme but we need to really ask ourselves why we are buying stuff at times. "Want' or 'need' I used to say to our sons when they were growing up. There is nothing wrong to treating yourself to fun things or stuff that you truly use like a new bike helmet if you are a biker or new running shorts if yours are worn thin.
Put the 'plastic' away if you can not afford to pay cash or before you know it you will be paying bills for things you do not even want or need or use for that matter. So these poor storm victims now have to start to rebuild. I would venture to say many or most of them will not be accumulating a bunch of things they do not need anymore. We all have that 'attic project' on our agenda. I know I do. Sure we like our sentimental things but what happens if and when you are hit by a storm that takes it all away? What you have left is more important than 'stuff' and earthly things. The things of this earth will all pass away.
Matthew 6:19 says "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal." It goes on in verses 20 and 21 to say "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." 1 Timothy 6:8 says "But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that." Philippians 4:11 says "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." So no matter what happens learn to practice contentment. Do not desire more stuff and bigger homes. Be happy with what the Lord has blessed you with.
Remember the parable of the rich fool where he hoarded all his wealth and in Luke 12:18 it says to him "Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods." We are not promised another day so enjoy the blessings the Lord has given you and share when possible. But remember as I said before in previous devotions that you never see moving vans following a funeral possession as there is no way to take your stuff with you.
PRAYER: I thank you for the blessings of food, clothing, shelter, good health, family, friends and money to spend. Everything I have is from you anyway Lord. Help me to not buy things I do not really need. Give me discernment before I 'impulse buy' and guide me also to share with those who have a need. Thank you again for all you have done for me. In Jesus Name, Amen!