Thursday, July 5, 2007

Abundance of Stuff

John 10:10 NASB

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

I haven’t pondered on this verse lately, but recently it has been coming to my mind quite frequently. A few weeks ago sitting in a Bible class for evangelism I saw a video segment where people on the streets were asked what they thought Jesus meant when he said he wanted us to have an abundant life. Not surprisingly the responses were nice homes, nice cars, getting into the university of my choice, nice jewelry and health for family. Most of the responses were materialistic.

The video facilitators brought up that all those in the New Testament, like Paul had abundant lives. Lives full of persecution, abandonment and imprisonment. The apostles faced circumstances that caused their faith to grow greater than I can ever want to imagine. Yet they continued to witness the gospel wherever they went. They never let circumstances prevent them from fulfilling the great commission nor did they complain against the ones who persecuted them. In spite of all the trials and persecutions these apostles faced, they had an abundance of joy, peace and insurmountable faith in God.

As I started assessing my own life, I realized that I have an abundance of stuff. I have such an abundance of clutter that I need to go buy more stuff to organize the stuff. Perhaps, I should give what I don’t have room for to the needy. Toys are busting out of my son’s closet. Clothes sit in piles and no one misses them for weeks or months. Shoes are busting out of my closet. Not another coat or jacket will fit in the coat closet. Books are piled on my desk and shelves. As I do a quick review in my mind about the apostles, I don’t recall any of them receiving instructions from God and them asking God to wait while they pile up more stuff or go shop for more stuff.

Therefore, I ask this—Could this stuff distract me from focusing on what the Lord has called me to do?

If I had less could I do more of what the Lord has called me to do?

What do you think? Does clutter—clutter your thoughts and productivity?

3 gracious comments:

Shonda said...

My answer:
The Greek word for life is zoe. According to the KJV New Testament Greek Lexicons, it means, “life real and genuine, a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed, in the portion even in this world of those who put their trust in Christ…” I don’t believe that more material possessions will cause us to have an abundant life—that is a life that is real and genuine or active and vigorous and most importantly—devoted to God. I have come to my own conclusion for myself that too much stuff distracts me from focusing on what God has called me to do.

Disclaimer: I’m not against having materials possessions and living a comfortable life. However, I believe there needs to be a balance in our lives. If material possessions distract us from serving the Lord, then it’s time to cut back.

Anonymous said...

Does clutter - clutter your thoughts and productivity?

Absolutely! I really do believe that it does.

When I clean, and I mean really clean - Spring clean, I feel so good when it's done. I can relax and I feel like that's out of the way and I can get onto other things. My desk at work gets cluttered, but before I go home for the day I clear it off and organize my "things to do". Then the next morning I can start fresh and I know exactly what I need to get started on. It makes it so much easier. And when things are organized you really work a lot faster. Everything you need is right where it is supposed to be and you don't spend time looking for it. When my desk is a mess, I honestly can't think straight. I don't know what I have to do or what I should do first because I don't know what's under all that mess. Something important probably!

With clutter you feel overwhelmed - like there is so much to do but don't know where to start so you get frustrated and end up not getting anything done. Clutter can be very frustrating and depressing.

God doesn't want us to feel overwhelmed or frustrated over "stuff".

I think I will go clean out my closet....

jen said...

Hi there, Thank you for the sweet comment on my blog. I definatly think serving the Lords call takes support and encouragement from fellow Siestas! I love finding new friends and Siestas in blog-world. :)

I definalty need to work on cleaning out closets and getting rid of the "stuff" in my life. We cleared out quiet a bit when we moved in Feb, but somehow when you clear it out, it leaves space for more! So I'm motivated. I'm going to tackle my closets and get rid of all the junk I just don't need. Donating it is a terrific idea! Good good post. :)