For when they die they will carry nothing away; their wealth will not go down after them. Psalm 29:17 NRSV
You can't take it with you.
But most of us act like we can.
Why do we have so much stuff? Why are we not content with what we have? Why do we have to keep getting more and more? And why do we focus so much on getting more money so that we can buy more stuff?
There are several secular "movements" going on that focus on simplicity. But I am always astounded that it seems a person is going to have to fork over a great deal of cash in order to really simplify following those methods. I always glance at them and decide I am not wealthy enough to live simply!
I think of the story of Jesus and the rich young ruler. Remember that one? The young man wants to know what else he should do in order to receive the kingdom of God. He has followed all the commandments. Jesus gives him his instructions: go sell all you have, give to the poor, and follow me. The young man goes away sad because he has a lot of stuff. Then Jesus announces how hard it will be for those with lots of stuff to get into the kingdom. Perhaps trying to enter with all that stuff could be a problem.
So why don't we Christians all sell what we have and give to the poor? Certainly in the book of Acts the very first followers of The Way did this. And everyone shared in the money brought in. It was a community effort and was led by the Holy Spirit. Today we are most like Ananias and his wife - they kept some of the money, lied about it, and fell down dead.
Why are we still holding on to our wealth?
God, we have so much stuff and we really like our stuff. But is our stuff interfering with our relationship with you? Help us, Lord, help us! In Jesus' name. Amen.
Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims