Too much stuff

Many people feel weighed down by “stuff”.

Various TV series document the journey – an unhappy household wading through too much clutter learns how to get rid of stuff. (Put like that, it doesn’t sound very watchable…) It ends with a transformed living space and beaming smiles all round. Hopefully things don’t revert to their former state when the cameras stop rolling!

Is clutter a new problem?

For centuries, possessions have been a sign of status. Ancient Egyptian tombs contained the things that had been important to the dead person during their lifetime.

The apostle Paul wrote,

For we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.

1 Timothy 6:7-8

Why do many of us have such a lot of stuff that we don’t need? Sometimes people go shopping to make themselves feel better when they are feeling anxious or sad. Surrounding ourselves with clutter can be a sign that we are trying to make ourselves feel happier, but ultimately it leads to more anxiety because we are surrounded with clutter…

How do we get out of this downward spiral?

Jesus said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal”. He knew that too much stuff causes anxiety. He also said, “…lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven… For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Jesus was not wealthy.

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich”.

2 Corinthians 8 v 9

Jesus certainly wasn’t weighed down by possessions. His focus was on carrying out the work God had asked him to do. He wants us to be rich in, as he put it, “treasures in heaven”.

If our lives consist only of stuff, we are actually very poor.

“..Has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?”

James 2 v 5

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