Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."
When I was a little girl, my mother used to buy shoes for my sisters and me at Alexander’s Department store. Now these shoes would be on tables, and the left and right foot would be connected by a little plastic ring, making it impossible to try on both shoes at the same time. It wasn’t comfortable or even practical, but it was what we could afford at the time. I longed for the day when I would be able to go to the third floor of Alexanders, take a seat in the shoe department, have a salesman bring me the shoes (in the box!), and then try on both shoes at the same time – and actually walk to a mirror to see what they looked like. Somebody knows what I’m talking about!
Nowadays, I am THE shoe queen. I’m pretty frugal about most things – but when it comes to shoes … well, all bets are off. My shoe shelves (yes, they have special shelves) are filled with every style and color imaginable. And yes, brothers, a sister does need more than one pair of black shoes.
And that’s the story for a lot of us: Most of us live with a lot of extras in our lives. Stuff we’ve become so used to that we’d probably call them necessities. We’re living by our “wants,” not by our “needs.” We regularly live in the excess – getting an extra large fries when a medium will do. Buying six pairs of socks, when we really only need two. Having extra coats just for variety. Enough food in your fridge and pantry so you don’t HAVE to shop for a month. Ordering dessert when you’re already full.
Our society has taught us to value our lives by how much stuff we have and how much we can accumulate. But the Scripture reminds us that that’s not where true wealth lies; that that’s not a real measurement of whether we’re living abundant, fruitful, productive lives. True wealth springs from the condition of the heart. From how you treat people. How you love people. How you respect the “other.”
So this week: EDIT. Forget about the stuff. Give your credit/debit card a rest. Don’t buy a thing! Instead, hug a child. Call your mama. Send your dad some flowers. Apologize – even if you weren’t wrong. Call an old friend and see how they’re doing. Hold the door for someone. Smile at a stranger. Pay the next guy’s toll. “Let your light so shine that everyone can see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
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