Lent 19 (2012)–Hoarding 101

I’m presently in purge-mode.  My husband and I had been window shopping one day and admiring latest styles of furniture.  He thought one item was particularly nice and asked if we had a place to put it.  “No,” I said, “we’re all filled up and if we take on something new, something old has got to go and it’s likely to be one of your favorites.”  That solved that.  I’m purging, down-sizing, and simplifying.

Today’s passage (Luke 12:15-33) shows three vignettes that might not seem connected at first blush and we’ve purposely taken this passage out of the journey’s sequential order of Luke to make a very different point on this long and winding road of discipleship.

Hoarding 101 is Don’t.

When we hoard, we worry about what we’re hoarding.  That’s because hoarding is basically a less offensive term for greed.  Blessings of Security have not been acquired on our own.  They are God’s gift and therefore, cannot be kept secure by hoarding.  They come at the daily cost of complete surrender, knowing that God is faithful to provide each day.

  1. In Luke 12:15, 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.” Hoarding possessions just causes us to worry.
  2. In Luke 12:22-23, Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.  Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.”  Hoarding food or clothes just causes us to worry.
  3. In Luke 12: 29-30, Jesus says, “And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.  For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.”  When we hoard food or drink or make it the pursuit of our life, we act as though we don’t have a God who provides.  We look no different than people who have no god.  Hoarding just makes us worry.

But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.  Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.  Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys” (Luke 12:31-33).

It isn’t wrong to be good stewards, to enjoy God’s blessings of material goods, or to save for the future.  But, I feel sorry for those who become consumed by their possessions, kind of like the Traveler’s Insurance dog in the commercial, worrying about the security of the bone he values.  He should just trust the hand who feeds him.  Likewise, our key is where our heart is.  If the blessings become what we seek and we worry about how to protect them instead of relying on the God who provides them all, it’s time to purge our lives of the lesser gods.  Seek first the Kingdom…

For further reflection:

  1. Are there things in my life that have a hold on me?
  2. Am I seeking God who is my treasure in heaven and giving Him to others by sharing His gospel?
  3. In what ways am I tempted to hoard?  What do I think hoarding is a protection against?

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on March 14, 2012

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