Matthew 6:19-20  – (Jesus said,) “Stop collecting treasures for your own benefit on earth, where moth and rust eat them and where thieves break in and steal them. Instead, collect treasures for yourselves in heaven, where moth and rust don’t eat them and where thieves don’t break in and steal them.

Gratitude Day 738

We can have a very tricky relationship with the things that we “own.”

Maybe you have experienced this. Awhile back, I experienced a conversation about a loved one’s possessions. The loved one has died. Another person implied the items were still the original owner’s possessions, even though they have passed away.

The conversation made me think about how I view what I “own,” what value the items have and how I view ownership. Let me be clear: these are my views and not what I expect everyone else to have. Yet, I do believe how we view “ownership” is an interesting perspective about what is important to us and what we value.

Previously, I have shared my belief that everything I “own” is not really mine, but things that are on loan to me from God. Yes, I call it “my house” and “my car” as well as “my clothing” and “my money.” But I try to keep the perspective that none of this is really mine. These “things” have been provided to me by God and are my responsibility to take care of for God’s benefit.

Hubby Rick and I have the same understanding within our resources. While we have joint resources, we also both have some individual money and resources as well. Sometimes, I’ll say, “Let me pay for that,” and Rick reminds me that I am not buying it with “my” money. Or “his” money. In every situation, we are using God’s money that is simply on loan to us. It is our responsibility to use all of our resources wisely and for God’s kingdom. We do this by trying to live shrewdly with our earnings, giving generously in our contributions and donations and allowing God to place on our hearts and minds ways that we can do this following God’s wisdom and guidance.

Our philosophy includes living for today while investing for the future. We get advice from those who can help us and seek wisdom as we navigate through the resources we get to manage. While we would not describe ourselves as “rich,” we know that we have been deeply “blessed.” Part of our belief structure is to share these blessings where we can and bless them as well.

I try to use this same attitude when opportunities to assist other people come our way. If we have something in our possession that someone else may need, I share or loan or give away. More than once, Rick has rolled his eyes when he discovered that I loaned one of our vehicles to someone in need. I realize not everyone has the same comfort level with this as I do. My theory is to seize the opportunities to be God’s hands and feet, which may look like loaning a car, a piece of equipment, money or something else. It helps to try and keep an attitude that it may or may not come back in the same condition that it left, and I have to be OK with this.

Our physical possessions, financial resources, retirement accounts, savings and investments can all disappear in a minute. Just ask anyone who has experienced a fire or a tornado. Clearly, some items are more valuable than others. Some are easier to replace. Others, impossible. In these awful experiences, people discover what really is most important … and what is fluff.

Yes, there are times that I have to remind myself that I really don’t own anything … and nothings owns me. I can let things go that I no longer need or use or have the same appreciation for. If something is no longer necessary, then I gladly give it away so someone else that needs it has access. We can be very possessive about certain things. This is OK to a point because we should treasure and respect certain things. But when I put more time and energy into the “stuff” in my life than I do serving God, I have a problem.

This said, sentimental things are by far the most difficult to manage. I know that I cannot keep every sentimental thing, so I try to choose just a few. No one else will think something is sentimental beyond me also encourages me to keep fewer of these things. After sorting through boxes and boxes of my mom’s and grandmother’s items, I do not want someone else to do this with my “stuff.” I am slowly reducing these items and only keeping the ones that are very special. Including pictures.

Why is it helpful to try and embrace the idea that we don’t own things? It gives us energy and space to invest in what is really important. Yes, I love my house. I love being here and think of it as a respite. But my relationships with other people are more important than this house. At times, Hubby Rick and I have tried to provide experiences for those who mean the most to us, rather than just another toy or item that loses its allure after 24-hours. We pray these experiences are something loved ones will keep as a treasured memory.

Finally, I have tried to embrace the idea that every day is a special day. I do not have “special occasion” dishes. I have dishes that I love and use. Every. Single. Day. I use them over and over because they are special to me. If something gets a stain on it or broken, I let it go. I enjoyed the item while I had it and will find something else that I can use it it’s place. Yes, I want to be a good steward and take care of the things on loan to me well. But I also do not want to turn them into idols that take a higher sprung on the ladder than relationships and experiences with the people I love.

Too often, I find myself storing up treasures on this earth rather than investing into those things that really are important to God. Little conversations from another person’s perspective helps me figure out my views on “things” and “stuff” and what I “own.” Hopefully my little discussion about this has been helpful for you as well.

For the need to remember that I don’t own anything, and nothing owns me, I am grateful.

Blessings –


Lord God – too often, we put so much emphasis and importance in the “stuff” in our lives. Help us keep a healthy perspective on what is most important. May we embrace the concept that our “things” are simply on loan to us from You. May we use what we have entrusted with for Your glory and honor. Amen.

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