By Jane Fryar
[Jesus said,] “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10 ESV).
The moment an infant learns to say, “Mama,” it’s a sure bet that “Mine!” won’t lag far behind. Rattles and raisins and plush rabbits are MINE! And it behooves anyone within earshot to remember it.
We never quite outgrow it, do we? We learn to share. We learn to give. But the thrill of ownership never quite dissolves. That last piece of cheesecake in the fridge. That autographed football. That comfortable chair in the living room. Mine!
Want to invest in a growth industry? Consider opportunities in public storage. One in every ten Americans rents space to store accumulated stuff. Drive down any block in suburbia after 10:00 p.m., and you’ll spot numbers of vehicles parked on driveways. Why? Because garages are packed with the stuff that won’t fit inside the house.
Pride in ownership is not a bad thing. Possessions, in and of themselves, are not sinful. Our Father in heaven delights in giving good gifts to his children. Having things is not the problem. It is a problem, though, when our things have us. That’s when chaos erupts and overflows.
If life feels chaotic, it’s worth asking a hard question (or two or four): How much chaos is clutter adding to my life? How many sweaters can one person wear? How many power tools can one garage contain? How much time, expense, and effort will it take to care for that new, shiny thing that just caught my eye?
There’s something in all of us that secretly believes our things will make us happy. And many things do—at least, for a little while. Still, there’s a reason our Lord Jesus warns:
Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions (Luke 12:15 ESV).
An abundant life is not a life of chaos, clutter, and confusion. An abundant life is anchored in our Savior’s forgiving love. It’s anchored in his promises to provide all we truly need. You can rest in that! You can rest in him!
(Now go clean out that closet and donate what you don’t really need to the thrift store!)
Editor’s note: Today’s devotion is slightly adapted from CTA’s devotion book, Calming Your Chaos. The book takes a stand against today’s busy-is-best society and instead, encourages individuals to slow down, calm down, breathe, and connect with God. It’s also available as part of the Care Ministry Support pack, a box specially curated with 90 resources for use in your church.
You are welcome to copy this article for one-time use when you include this credit line and receive no monetary benefit from it: © 2006, 2020 CTA, Inc. Used with permission.