Sunday Devotional: Life does not consist of possessions

Luke 12:13-21

Someone in the crowd said to Jesus,
“Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” 
He replied to him,
“Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?” 
Then he said to the crowd,
“Take care to guard against all greed,
for though one may be rich,
one’s life does not consist of possessions.”

Then he told them a parable. 
“There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. 
He asked himself, ‘What shall I do,
for I do not have space to store my harvest?’
And he said, ‘This is what I shall do:
I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. 
There I shall store all my grain and other goods
and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you,
you have so many good things stored up for many years,
rest, eat, drink, be merry!”’
But God said to him,
‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you;
and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’
Thus will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves
but are not rich in what matters to God.”

Our consumer culture sells us the lie that happiness comes from material possessions. While buying something new might give us a lift, the pleasure it gives is as ephemeral as dew drops in the morning sun. We have all experienced how quickly the pleasure wears off and, like drug addicts, we then look for yet another “fix”.

But in today’s reading from Luke 12, our Lord counsels us to “guard against all greed” for our “life does not consist of possessions.” As we grow older, we should simplify our lives instead of accumulating more and more possessions.

The recently-depart Alan Cohen, 83, spent his life acquiring and accumulating large amounts of stuff, charitably called “quirky” by the mother-and-daughter pair who had to organize his home for a recent estate sale. Below are pics of some of Cohen’s stuff.

As we age, we should simplify our lives by discarding the clutter and nonessentials.

Instead of jamming our homes with more and more stuff, try reducing the amount of our material possessions instead. Clear out your bulging closets and cluttered shelves. Sell them in a garage sale or, better yet, donate them to charity and get a tax write-off.

Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.

Strive to live a clean and uncluttered existence. Pare our lives, our possessions, and our selves to what is truly meaningful. Instead of storing up stuff, be “rich in what matters to God.”

You’ll breathe easier and feel better.

And you won’t leave a house groaning with stuff and dust for others to clear out.

Colossians 3:5, 2-4

Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly:
immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire,
and the greed that is idolatry

Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. 
For you have died,
and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 
When Christ your life appears,
then you too will appear with him in glory.

May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you!

~Eowyn

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operaghostLanaWilliamSteven BroilesJackie Puppet Recent comment authors
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Grace
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Grace

This article really resonates with me. Both of my parents have passed. One left a very tidy estate with all affairs in order, the other parent left some disarray. It taught me that one of the best gifts I can give to my adult children is the ease of burden upon and after my death.

PvtCharlieSlate
Guest
PvtCharlieSlate

My father grew up during the Great Depression and he instinctively never threw anything away. He justification was always “That’s still good!”. But it’s only one shoe … “It’s still good!” It’s a lock with no key … “It’s still good!”. After he died my sister and I filled a 40-cubic-hard dumpster with junk and then filled another 20-cubic-yard dumpster. In the basement, on both sides of almost all of the rafters, there was a nail every 10 or 12 inches with some piece of crap hanging off it.

William
Member
William

My father was the same, never threw anything away. Once my brother and I made a huge pile of stuff that had no possible use but he kept pulling stuff out of the pile. A bucket with a hole in it..”I can patch it..”

William
Member
William

This is apropos for my situation. My lady companion has a brother who is in decline, in and out of hospitals. He needs around the clock assistance, bed and wheelchair-bound, but he refuses to hire a PCA or home health aide. That would cost money. So my lady, his sister, does it, now a full-time job. He doesn’t deserve it, he is the most miserable cheap self-centered SOB I’ve ever known. But he’s her brother. He has about half a million dollars in the bank and no will, so if he lives long enough that will all go to some… Read more »

Grace
Guest
Grace

God Bless her, William. 😇

William
Member
William

Yup. One day I came to her house and she was sitting on the edge of the bathroom sink soaking her feet, cigarette dangling from her mouth, doing a crossword puzzle. I knew she was the one. She is prone to meltdowns and curses like a longshoreman but she is the only woman I’ve ever met with such strong and unshakable Christian values

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TrailDust
Admin

A great reminder to us all. Thank you, Dr. Eowyn.

Alma
Member
Alma

And with Your Spirit, Amén. And that is exactly what I’m doing. Simplify, don’t want to burden my son. I donate so others with less can benefit, it is good for the soul.

Auntie Lulu
Guest
Auntie Lulu

What an excellent article. Why pass on a burden for our loved ones to have to deal with. Deal with it ourselves.

GRIZZ
Guest
GRIZZ

When im ready to ruin my day I will show this to Mrs GRIZZ.Working in the fashion and display world,she thinks every damn space should be cluttered like a display window.

Jackie Puppet
Member

I can admit to being a little bit of a hoarder, as far as I know, I’ll occasionally hang onto something that could actually be useful down the road, not junk like trinkets that have no real value to anyone, and just collect dust in the hardest to reach of spaces.

Steven Broiles
Member

I wonder if the late Mr. Cohen had a thing for Eugene Ionesco because he was find of collecting little statues of rhinoceroses! There’s nothing wrong with stuff, provided we see salvation in spiritual terms and not material terms. What good works have we done while in a state of Grace? This is what matters; Good deeds done while in a state of Grace are those things that no burglar can break in and steal away. And certainly we have a right to prepare for calamities by prepping for natural disasters: Storing food is no luxury; it is a moral… Read more »

Lana
Guest
Lana

Wonderful reminder Dr. E. So true.

operaghost
Guest
operaghost

This is something I have been striving for this year. Too. Much. Stuff! It builds up quickly, those little things. And I am not a collector. It’s the day-to-day detritus that does us in.