Recently, I went through my closet to get rid of clothes and shoes that didn’t fit, I didn’t need, and didn’t wear. I was amazed at how empty my closet was because throughout the year, I was accumulating so many items I didn’t need but couldn’t give up.
Even in the United States, people are accumulating more and more stuff. In the 2018 study by Self-Storage Association, there are 52,000 storage facilities in the United States alone.
However, accumulating more stuff is something that isn’t new. In the Bible, we learn the parable of the greedy man:
“And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich towards God.”
As I was preparing for this blog post by researching stats, cleaning out my closet, and reminding myself of the parable of the greedy man, there was a little voice in my head which was repeating the verse in Matthew 6.
“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them, and rust destroy them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.” (v. 19)
Where are you storing your treasures? For me, it was in the amount of clothing and accessories I had. For the man in the Bible, it was amount of grain he had. Maybe for you it is money, clothing, or home décor.
We live in a culture that tells us that we should be consuming more and more stuff here on earth, but the Bible tells us something different. The Bible tells us that we should be storing our treasures in Heaven by giving our time, resources, money, and talents to those who are needy.
The things we store up in earth – in our closet or in our storage units – won’t last forever. They will get destroyed, stolen, and left behind. We can’t even take them into Heaven if they did last during the time on earth.
The world is becoming more blind to the idea that we are pursuing more and more stuff, when we really need to pursue more and more of God.
Little did I know, cleaning out my closet was going to teach me a lesson about where my heart was. I valued the money I had so I could spend it on clothing and shoes, and started to consume more of clothing and shoes and less of Jesus. The problem isn’t whether you’re rich, it’s how you use that richness to live your lives.
So, I made myself a few goals so I can become more rich in God:
- Instead of using most of my money on clothing, I want to use it more for ties-and-offering at church.
- Instead of using my time to go shopping, I want to give my time to volunteer work for those who are in need.
Where are you storing your treasures? Are you consuming more items, than you are Jesus? Are you rich in God or rich in money?