Wednesday, November 12, 2008


The Amazing Joanne and I are now owned by a mortgage (well, we've bought a house and get to live in it while we pay off the bank.) So we're working out how to get our stuff moved over to the new place.

Even though we got rid of a lot of stuff when we moved to beautiful Colorado a year ago, the amount of stuff we still have is a little frightening, especially when I think of having to carry all our stuff down three flights of stairs into a truck. So I'm thinking about purging again.

I have a lot of old files, from when I ran a business, and a year ago it wasn't yet time to ditch them. Now it is. There are probably a few clothing items I'll never wear again -- this might be a good time to give them to someone, or to Goodwill, and get it over with.

The Bible talks a lot about possessions and how we use them. The book of Proverbs is full of warnings not to put our trust in money or stuff; for instance, Proverbs 11:28 and 23:5. Jesus talked a lot about money and its use, particularly the need to be generous with it, especially in the gospel of Luke. (I remember a Veggie Tales segment about an enormous store called "Stuff Mart" where Larry kept going to buy more stuff that wouldn't even fit into his house.)

God's word also warns us about excess baggage of other types like old habits, mistaken ideas and sin. We're told in Hebrews 12:1 that we need to "strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us." That's a reminder that we're in this for the long haul, and some things in life will only weigh us down.

Every once in awhile it's a good idea to "take an inventory" of our lives -- our habits and thought processes, as well as our physical possessions -- and see what we don't need any more. What about that old resentment, that TV show, even a favorite beverage, or whatever? If it takes our attention away from loving God and loving others, and wastes our time, money or energies with no eternal return, then perhaps it's time to shove it out the door and into the trash. On the other hand, there may be parts of our lives that need to be turned around into vehicles of love and service, rather than used only for ourselves. That's an inventory and analysis that each of us needs to do on ourselves -- I can't do it for you, and you can't decide it for me, but it's a healthy step.

So even though you're not moving, like I am, we're all headed for "a better place, a heavenly homeland," just like the heroes in Hebrews 11:16. Like them, we don't need to be weighed down by extra stuff. Ready to get rid of some of yours? Why not ask God to help you sort out your closet? You'll gain a surprising feeling of lightness and freedom by getting rid of the "stuff" that's been weighing you down.

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