Enjoying things without owning them

As far as I can tell, Jesus didn’t own very much.

The Gospels don’t tell us anything about a storage unit for his overflow belongings.

As I write this I’m aware that in comparison to him I have a lot of stuff. I have a house and a car in the driveway. I have a room full of books, a few guitars, more clothes than I can wear in a week, and a few sentimental things that I just don’t want to throw away.

And on my snazzy little laptop I read these words of Jesus from Luke 12:15 (NLT): “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.”

I don’t think I’m a greedy person. But maybe I am.

Why do I have all this stuff? Why do I often want more stuff? Is it just because I’m bombarded with commercials every day reminding me about what I don’t have? Or is there some deep desire within me that thinks owning stuff will make me comfortable, or in control, or successful, or good?

Yesterday I talked about simplicity. Today I’d like to do the same with another word of advice from Richard J. Foster.

He says that we can cultivate simplicity in our lives by enjoying things without owning them.

Ownership can be an obsession in our culture. It’s an illusion that gives us false security and draws us away from depending on God to provide for us.

Do you want to cultivate more simplicity and peace of mind in your life?

Enjoy a ride in your friend’s car without wishing you owned it yourself. Borrow a book. Take a walk through the park.

Jesus said: “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.”

Tomorrow I’m still going to own my stuff. But I want to use it in a way that glorifies God, helps me serve Jesus, and which doesn’t distract me from what’s most important.

As you go about your day, try to enjoy things without always having to own them.

By Matthew Ruttan

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