The Power of Possessions

The Power of Possessions

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. –Matthew 6:21

This is Part Three of the Matthew 6:21 Series. We’ve been contemplating different types of treasure in our lives and how they can be recognized and utilized to help others, especially orphans. Things like personal knowledge instead of distance acquaintance and the value of time. This post is about the power of possessions.

Possessions are a more obvious treasure, similar to the most obvious treasure–money. My first thought when I began this post was of the man who built bigger barns in Luke chapter 12.

And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. —Luke 12:16-21

As with all the treasures God gives us, the purpose of possessions is not to hoard them for ourselves. This can be hard for any of us to remember. We enjoy our comfortable lives. There is nothing wrong with that. When my brother and I went on a missions trip this summer, one of the missionaries encouraged us not to feel guilty when we went home.

God placed you where you are for a purpose.

So, yes, don’t feel guilty about what you have. Whether you have much or very little, God gave it to you for a reason. Your job is to be a wise steward. Look at what you have and determine how you can use those possessions to serve God.

Most of the time when I contemplate that question, my first thought is getting rid of stuff and giving it away. Sometimes that’s an accurate conclusion. If the rich man had given away his grain with a heart of service, his story would have had a much happier ending. When Jesus showed the rich young ruler where he lacked, he asked him to sell all that he had and give to the poor, and by so doing lay up treasure in heaven. However, being a good steward of your possessions does not necessarily mean getting rid of them. Instead of limiting yourself to disposal, challenge yourself to find creative ways to employ your possessions for service.

Recently, I’ve been able to share books from my small-but-growing library of orphan care books with a family beginning the adoption process. Some unused stocking stuffers from last year went into Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. Stationary and stamps can be used to write letters of encouragement.

No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light. —Luke 11:33

Just like the purpose of a candle is to shed light, the purpose of treasure is to be used for service. When it is stored away, hidden for only one person to enjoy, it’s potential is wasted. Don’t let the things you own become a candle under a bushel!

Can you think of and share some creative ways to use what you already have to serve others? What are some other ways we can learn from the man who built bigger barns and the rich young ruler?


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