Addicted to Stuff

Then he said, “This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.” –Luke 12:18

Some years ago, my wife and I moved to a new state. It was a BIG deal. I don’t know if you have experienced this type of transition in your life in recent years, but if you have, you know exactly what I’m talking about. In fact, just to mention the word “MOVE” strikes terror in most people’s hearts. Moving is stressful… but it is more than that! It is also very revealing.

When the moving company packed up our “stuff” in the moving truck, I stood by the team of workers that labored that day. I kept an eye on all the boxes, furniture and household goods that were being carefully placed in the trailer for its 1,000-mile trip. Hour-by-hour passed as I kept waiting for them to finish. In my angst, I decided to take a walk.

As I started out, I noticed a man with a beat-up van making his way to the large dumpster that was down the street from our house. I’d seen him before. The man showed up weekly in our neighborhood. He would park his van next to every dumpster in the complex and carefully sift through it to find anything that could be recycled for cash. He had been doing it for years. Watching him was a shock to my system. As I thought of this man and his beat-up van loaded with cans, newspapers and bottles, I compared him to my HUGE moving van filled with “stuff.”

The moving process helped me realize that I am addicted to “stuff.” I am a consumer who needs to carefully start to look at my possessions in light of the realities of the world, the Church and the Kingdom of God. We live in a consumer culture. We consume goods, endless cups of coffee, worship services, sermons, Bible studies, church programs, food… the list is endless.

I’m convinced it’s time for me to lighten my load, to become more of a giver and less of a consumer. I challenge you to join me. Let’s concentrate on giving more, loving more, reaching out more and looking at how the Kingdom of God can touch people’s lives through us.

Jesus calls us to be givers rather than consumers. Remember, He said, “Freely you have received. Freely give.” (Matthew 10:8)

1. How much “stuff” do you have in your life?

2. How is God speaking to you about your consumption habit? How can you change your focus toward giving rather than consuming?

Luke 12:13-34; Luke 14:7-11; Luke 16:19-31

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Robin Dugall

A long-time contributor to HomeWord's daily devotionals, Robin is Pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church of McCall, Idaho and Shepherd of the Mountains Lutheran Church of Cascade, Idaho. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Theology at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon.

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