the joy of LESS! part three
A few years ago, my dear mom called all four of her daughters to come over to the house. She told us in no uncertain terms that she wanted to give us all of the jewelry she had. So one Friday, after lunch at a favorite Thai restaurant, we went home to take turns choosing which pieces we wanted.
I can remember it just like it was yesterday. We all had favorite pieces we had seen her wear on special occasions. Like her mother’s vintage pearl necklace and a unique art deco ring set with deep blue sapphire and diamond baguettes. Personally, I loved her gold link bracelet decorated beautifully with square pieces of green jade. For years and years, my sweet mom took great care of all of these pieces and cherished them deeply. And let me tell you, that day my mom was so full of joy giving it all away to us.
On top of the jewelry, my mother went into her bedroom closet and gathered silk pouches and small boxes of treasures, and emptied them out on her crocheted bedspread. She laid them all out, keeping only her wedding band and her gold cross necklace. The writing was on the wall. She wanted us to know that she wasn’t going to live forever and none of these lovely things would be going along with her.
A Valuable Lesson
As I drove away that day, my heart was heavy but I had a valuable lesson tucked deep down inside that I will never, ever forget.
We so often spend the first part of our lives collecting, buying, and accessorizing our homes, our wardrobes, and ourselves. Until one day you realize that all this stuff breaks, wears out, or doesn’t matter all that much. At least it shouldn’t.
In Luke 12, Jesus taught a very important lesson:
Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded fruit plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’”
Jesus ended the parable with this warning: “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:16–21 NKJV).
Possessions can easily become a distraction and a hindrance to faithfully serving God.
That is why Jesus warned His disciples, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:24 NKJV).
Laying up treasure for our golden years, for our children, or for our grandchildren’s education isn’t wrong. It is a virtue. The Bible says, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children” (Proverbs 13:22 NKJV).
But when it comes to the end of our lives (and no one but God knows exactly when that will be), the things that matter will not be what is in our closets, garages, or bank accounts. It will be the things of the kingdom: righteousness, peace, and joy.
The Legacy We Leave
The things we collect will not matter. It’s all about the people we have loved and who loved us, and the godly legacy that we leave behind.
Friends! Let’s commit to put God first, seeing the opportunity and responsibility we have to use these blessings for good (see 1 Timothy 6:17–19).
Riches can be dangerous if we do not have a biblical understanding of these things and put our trust in riches instead of God. Let’s store our treasures up above.
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“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, your heart will be also.” —Matthew 6:19–21 NKJV