Jesus 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.” Luke 12: 15
Don’t we all get pulled in by the “things” we think we must absolutely have? We are constantly being reminded that having more means we are more important, we will be more accepted, and much more content. This has become our way of life and definitely a part of our culture. We accumulate all these things we don’t really need or sometimes even necessarily want, but we see others have them, and we think we must too! We often realize how meaningless it can be, but yet we are ingrained with the belief that having more will make us happier.
Yet, this is not the life God desires for us, for we were not created to have “things” satisfy or fulfill our lives. An “abundance of possessions” does not bring contentment or happiness. These things will only bring temporary pleasures and as we all have seen, once we have them, we easily move on to the next “dream purchase”. Having more never seems to meet our needs or desires.
Yet. it seems to have become a lifelong obsession with most of us which we know will mean little when we look back over our lives. Out of all the regrets we might have, having wished we had obtained more possessions probably won’t be one of them. We will most likely wish we had spent more time with our family and friends, invested our time more wisely, given more to others, and made God a more significant part of our lives.
Wealth in this life goes beyond money or possessions. We have far greater “riches” of more value right before us and sometimes we don’t even realize it – the love of others, time spent with them, the beauty of our world, the satisfaction and contentment we can find in our accomplishments and in helping others, and in spending time in God’s presence.
Jesus knew we would be faced with the challenges of this world and he warns us in this verse to “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed.” With such a strong warning, we realize that He knew coveting would be a constant struggle that we must work to overcome. The constant grasping for more to fulfill our needs will only bring discontent and a longing for more. We become so preoccupied with our wants instead of our blessings and we fail to appreciate the simple pleasures of life. How mutch rest and peace we miss in our endless search for more.
God desires us to find joy in the loving families and friends He has placed in our lives, and in our experiences in which we invest our mental and emotional energies. He wants us to focus on using the talents He has given us to enrich our lives. He wants so much more for us than what we want for ourselves.
We waste so much time and energy wanting, searching, and purchasing those “things” that are so meaningless. How much more fulfilling life could be if we would only fill up our hearts with a genuine and sincere love for Him and a desire to serve Him and others. What greater blessings we would receive!
Dear God, how selfish and materialistic we have become. We focus so much of our lives on things and the pleasures they might bring. But we know from experience, that the joy we get from them is temporary and fleeting. Help us to truly focus on you and the blessings you desire to give us – wealth of much greater worth than possessions or money. Amen