If Jesus knocked on your door and said, “Follow me,” could you leave your worldly possessions? When the Apostles received the Call of Christ, they did leave everything (Matt. 4:18-22, Matt. 9:9). Jesus owned no worldly possessions. Could we live that way?
Retail-mas is the worst of capitalism. It’s the pull of shiny and the wanting of more. The expectation of satisfaction that’s sure to be found at the retail store.
Years ago I didn’t get this. My family was entitled. Until one day, the entitlement smothered me. I purged our home with enthusiasm. You know what I discovered? Less really is more!
Less stuff means freedom from distraction. It’s freedom from the maintaining and managing of inanimate objects.
We possessed an illusion of need. What’s “need”? Food, clothes, shelter, of course these are needs. The accumulation of the shiny and new does not constitute true need. It constitutes the longing of the flesh for fulfillment never quenched.
Yes, I want things. Perhaps it’s a First World disease. As I’ve struggled with this, I realize how little I really need and how in fact I am blessed. God provides what I need even when I don’t know what that is.
So what if Jesus knocked on my door and said, “Follow me.”? I hope that I wouldn’t tell Jesus to wait as I packed my bag… Or engage in a discussion about how I couldn’t possibly go anywhere without my bathroom essentials, an extra pair of yoga pants, and ALL my essential oils…OH! And don’t forget the snacks!
It is hard to let go of my stuff. I work to view my blessings as just that and not necessities. Am I entirely there yet? Nope. Learning to live a life of contentment instead of a life of wanting requires mindfulness and appreciation (Phil. 4:11-13).
When the shiny calls my name, I delve into my motives because every choice has consequences.
Am I coveting?
Am I feeling negative thoughts like jealousy and entitlement?
Will the purchase result in a mismanagement of the funds God has entrusted to us?
Do I really have time to take care of it?
Is it a need or want?
If I wait another month before purchasing, will I discover it was never really a need after all?
Shiny things don’t stay shiny.
Stuff will never fill our emptiness, make us special or bring us happiness, only being filled with the Spirit brings these gifts. The Fruits of the Spirit outshine even the brightest of holiday displays. Our blessings overflow even the largest of gift boxes.
This Christmas I pray we as Christians embrace a life of less stuff so we can have more of what’s important. In doing so I hope we demonstrate salt and light to a world disillusioned with the wanting of more.
Photo credit: Pixabay