Have you seen the new Walmart commercial where the endorser takes a woman into the store to shop for Halloween candy? He shows her Walmart’s low prices and tells her that they will price match at the register if she finds it cheaper anywhere else. She then excitedly replies, “Wow, I can buy more!” If you have seen that commercial, what does it say to you? To me it shouts greedy, greedy, greedy! She is so excited that she can buy “more!”
If you haven’t guessed already, this week’s lesson in my bible study was about greed, or as the author puts it, Never Enough. How often have we thought that we never have enough? Never enough money, never enough clothes, never enough toys. But what does God say about this?
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in a steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.”
1 Timothy 6:10 & 17
“Then Jesus said to them, “Watch out! Be on guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
Right now our family is poor in the sense of work income, but we are not lacking in possessions! Our current house is less than half the square footage of our last house. If you have ever moved before, I’m sure you know that you grow to fit the space you are in. So we had grown to fit that larger house and now our smaller house is quite full of boxes, we have boxes at my in-laws and a storage unit full of boxes. We have lived her for just over a year now and I still have several unpacked boxes. You might think, well, that is totally understandable, you don’t have house space for everything you had before. Yes, but what if I told you some of the boxes were stored in the basement of the old house where they were never unpacked! It was so easy to ignore them then, now however, they are here where I see them and wonder, “Why do we have all this STUFF?” It’s clear that I have stored up for myself many possessions and I am just letting the “moth and rust destroy” them. I am cluttering up my house and my mind with all these possessions!
It is time for me to cut the ropes! Linda Dillow writes: Greed is like a weight attached to you by a rope. If you want to be free of greed, practice this little exercise. Stand in your house and look around. Where does greed have hold of you? Survey your possessions and ask God to show you where to cut the ropes. Do you need to give some clothes away? Do catalogs or newspaper ad inserts cause you to covet, throw them out before reading them. Does a friend cause you to get the “greedies”? Maybe you should stay away from him/her.
It’s time to clear out these boxes of unneeded items. Why should I hold on to these items that I don’t need when there may be someone else who can use them or recycle them for another use. And by letting these items go I can let go of this greed and guilt of having these boxes cluttering up our lives. Maybe then I can pass along this lesson to my children. I can already see their deisire to hold on to possessions, wanting to keep every item that comes into their hands and never letting go. Instead of storing up these possessions on earth we need to learn and teach generosity and a willingness to share…
“In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”
1 Timothy 6:19