Monday, December 1, 2008
Daily Devotion: Spend Less #1
Spend Less #1: Searching for Home
What is it about stuff? We seem to need it. We think everything will be better if we get it. Sure, very few people would actually say: “Man, if I could just get that one thing, everything would be fine,” but we tend to act that way. We fixate on that one thing that we really want, or even think we need, and if we don’t get it, we feel deprived, and if we do get it, we’re happy for a bit, and then we move on to the next thing to possess.
To a certain extent, this condition is natural, given our current circumstances. Clever advertising convinces us that we need things that we probably do not, and our culture values possessions as a means to increase stature. But I think there is something much deeper going on when we are driven to consume and possess.
When we have things, we feel in control, and ultimately, we hope those things will make us feel more complete. The problem is, that completeness is probably not something we can hope for this side of heaven. Yes, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, and yes, it is breaking into our lives and our world at this very moment.
But it’s not done yet.
One day we will live fully in the reality of scripture from the book or Revelation, which tells us:
...“‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’" --Rev 21:3-4 (NIV)
Until then, there is a little bit of waiting. Advent is about waiting for the coming King. When he comes, he is going to work everything out. When we see him face to face, we will be made new; set free from the hindrances that plagued us all our lives. We will be complete, and we will be free of the urge to try and find that completeness elsewhere. Maybe it sounds too good to be true, but there it is.
Maybe if we can remember this, it will help us think differently about the things that we buy. Maybe if we know the things aren’t going to do the trick, we can buy less of them. And Maybe we wont expect the things we give to others to make them feel complete either. Instead, we find fulfillment in doing the work that God has sent us to do, and we love people by giving more of ourselves to them, and maybe a few less things.
Possessions are by no means the only way we try to fill the holes we feel in our lives. The problem is not that we are looking only to possessions, it’s that we’re not looking to Jesus to make us feel complete. We can look any number of countless other places, but they just wont do the trick.
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. --Matthew 6:19-21
If you’re feeling like your heart is missing, try looking for it in heaven: I couldn’t find it at Wal Mart.