Monday, June 27, 2011

Meaninful Mondays: In Search of Stuff (Psalm 40)

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Stuff.  Why are we so controlled by it?  We get some new stuff and then we have to go and find more stuff to put in the stuff that we just bought.  Yeah, I'm totally guilty of this.  We just bought two media cabinets to go with our tv console (thanks to our yard sale earnings).  After I assembled the cabinets, I kept thinking that I really needed to get some pictures frames and assorted doodads to fill up the shelves.  Did I need those things before I got the cabinets?  Do I really need them now?  Nope.

I'm not saying that having stuff is necessarily a bad thing, but the desire to acquire more and more stuff can put us in a never ending cycle where we become slaves to our stuff.  When our need for stuff is stronger than our need for God, then we have a problem.

David addresses this in Psalm 49.  Now you can imagine that by being a king, David had a lot of stuff, but he realized there's a difference you having stuff and your stuff having you.

"Do not be afraid when one becomes rich,
When the glory of his house is increased;
For when he dies he shall carry nothing away;
His glory shall not descend after him.
Though while he lives he blesses himself
(For men will praise you when you do well for yourself),
He shall go to the generation of his fathers;
They shall never see light.
A man who is in honor, yet does not understand,
Is like the beasts that perish."
Psalm 49:16-20.

I think what David is saying is that don't worry that you don't have all of the stuff that the "Jones'" have.  Stuff won't get you to heaven.

Proverbs 24:3-4 says, "Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches."  King Solomon was the wisest and one of the wealthiest men that ever lived, but I doubt is talking about physical riches here.  Since you don't often hear "things" being described as "precious", I think it is safe to conclude that the riches to which is referring are not cars, houses and electronics, but instead he is referring to what is everlasting.  "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal..." Matthew 6:20.

On the other hand, he's not saying the stuff is what is bad; it's having stuff without "understanding" that gets us into trouble.  We need to understand that all that we have comes from God.  It could be taken away at any moment and we should still be happy with the knowledge although we had stuff, our stuff didn't have us.  Our joy doesn't revolve around our stuff.  In Psalm 40 David reminds us that we can't take it with us.  Are we spending our lives in the pursuit of what makes us happy or in the pursuit of what makes God happy?

This is a study that I really needed today as I've spent way too much time this weekend thinking about the stuff that I think I need and not being thankful enough that my God has blessed me far beyond anything that I could ever deserve.   In turn I need to spend more energy and time using my blessings to bless others.

"For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required..." Luke 12:48.  Let's all make it a point to look for a way to share God's blessings with others this week.  Thanks for reading!

Linked to:
Word Filled Wednesday

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