Monday, March 16, 2015

Living Treasures

We like to keep lots of stuff don't we? We usually keep heirlooms in the attic for safe keeping. The attic is more of a space where we like to box up all those old things that held such importance to others. 

In the basement is more of a collage of laundry room mismatched socks and stuff that tends to pile up. The basement is that place we can put stuff that no one else needs to see, but we can always find it if we need it. 

Now for the main floor of the house. We like it to show off who we are or at least who we want others to perceive us to be. We place out photos of family, knickknacks that add flair to our home. We like eye catching gadgets that we can talk about. 

Let's be real. We enjoy showing off our stuff. We hide things we don't want others to see and we set out an array of things we want guests to ponder over. We can shut doors to rooms that are messy. We can cram all the dirty dishes that have been left over from the weekend into the dishwasher. Those dirty clothes can get tossed into the laundry room for safe keeping. No one has to go in there. 

So, if you went through your house right now and could only choose three things to keep what would they be? What would they say about you? See, the thing is, we have a lot of stuff. The question could be, do we value our stuff over people? 

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

"I have treasured Your word in my heart so that I may not sin against You." Psalm 119:11

See, we think our stuff tells our story. The world measures our importance and value by how much stuff we have. Our stuff may tell a bit about us. Probably how insecure we really are, but there is so much more to us than our accumulating stuff. Our story is really told by how we loved. 

There isn't anything of more value than love. At the end of my life I don't want people to remember me for my stuff or lack of stuff. I want them to remember me by my  heart. How I lived and loved. I want my faith to speak volumes above anything I own. 

Please don't misunderstand me. There's nothing wrong with having stuff, but when that stuff says more about us than our heart, there is a huge issue. It's time to clean out the stuff and get to the heart of the matter. I have found as I have cleaned out closets and cabinets and underneath beds, I've learned I need a lot less stuff than I thought. 

Remember those three things I asked about keeping? You got'em yet? I know, that's a lot of stuff to go through and make a choice of only three things. But see, if we  stopped allowing this world to tell us who to be and started looking toward our Lord for guidance I believe we would come away with something totally different than collecting stuff that will one day hold no value. 

Have you visited a resale shop lately or maybe an antique shop or estate sale? They are filled with stuff no one wants any longer.  My husband and I always find old quilts that took someone an entire winter to piece together by hand. We find old German Bibles that date back to years of long ago. We find treasures upon treasures that at one time meant something of great value to those who had it, but after they have left this world it doesn't seem to mean so much to those who have to figure out what to do with it. 

Sometimes I'll have tears in my eyes and ask my hubs how someone could let go of something so beautiful. We fill our lives up with stuff that will lose value. But what if we lived in such a way that we built treasure troves in heaven instead of filling landfills on earth? 

Let us love our neighbor. Give a helping hand. Serve in areas that make us uncomfortable. Most of all, use our God given gifts for His glory. Only if we could place our faith first and give witness to this lost world. Look around. Would it be better to share our stuff or share Jesus? We share Jesus by loving people and giving our time to those around us. See, love has a way of growing more love. It's contagious and life changing. If we could only live out love like Jesus. Might the three things we choose be something lasting eternal and not something that just takes up space. 

"And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13
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