“And he said to them, ‘Take care and be on your guard against all covetousness,
for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
Life isn’t about stuff. This is an easy statement to make, and perhaps an easy concept to grasp and verbally agree to, but how often do our lives say differently?
All around us, people are striving to gain more and more things. To keep up with the latest trends and crazes. Success tends to be viewed by how much we have or how much it costs. There are even those who preach the gain of worldly possessions as a focused reward for Christians…but oh, how that picture goes against the life of Christ and His closest followers, the apostles who were the foundation for the true gospel’s preaching in the first place. It isn’t that money or possessions are bad in themselves. But they are not to be our focus. This is the warning Jesus gives in Luke 12:15 to the man who asked Him to tell his brother to split an inheritance: take care and be on guard against this, because this is not life.
Life is not about possessions. Having a lot of money and keeping up with the latest stuff does not bring us a better life. That is not the abundant life Christ said He came to bring us. His abundant life is so much better!
His abundant life is freedom. In this context, freedom from striving to keep up with everyone else. Freedom from trying to prove our worth. Freedom from basing our worth on what we have and either coming up short or elevating ourselves above those around us. Freedom from anxiety at how to make ends meet. Freedom to give generously of ourselves and what God has given us.
There is freedom because we are Christ’s and He has declared that we are loved and valued by the Most High God. Entirely separate from anything we have. We are seen. We are heard. We are chosen and kept forever. And when we pursue Christ wholeheartedly and follow His lead obediently, our Father faithfully provides all of our needs.
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will wear…For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Fear not, little flock, for it is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Luke 12:22,30-34).
With these words, Jesus highlights that we are to hold all things on earth loosely. We don’t need to be anxious or run after other things. It will just leave us empty and unsatisfied. No, we run after Him and our souls come alive. We can obediently follow Christ in the freedom found when He is our life, giving of ourselves and our resources without fear, because our Father leads us in wisdom and grace and provides what we need in perfect love.