“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy, and thieves break in and steal”
Prior to being saved, I led a stereotypical western materialistic, capitalistic, consumer driven life. I sought expensive cars, houses in prestigious areas, elaborate stereos, the designer clothes. My eyes lusted and coveted all that life in the fast lane could offer.
As a soldier then web designer, I amassed the means to get almost anything I wanted. The car, the house, even the blonde trophy wife.
None of it changed the condition of my heart though. None of it brought peace and none of it helped my inner turmoil. Today, thanks to God, I live a simplistic, minimalistic life. I own virtually nothing (other than the old laptop I am typing on). I wear one of five white polo shirts everyday.
I rent a small apartment, and I do not use a car. To many that might seem strange. However, the joy and peace that I have is beyond compare. My role model for such a life is Jesus Christ. He also owned nothing and needed nothing of this world. Or the Apostle Paul who writes if you have food and clothing be content with that, for we brought nothing into this world and we can take nothing out of it.
People like Mother Teresa or Francis of Assisi who both led a life of voluntary poverty. David Livingston struggling with the bare essentials for the Lord in Africa. Hudson Taylor living in the make shift hospital hostels he rented for the Chinese. My role models all seem to be from a bygone era. The age of ‘more’ seems to prevail. And the mentality exists both inside the Church and out. Believers seeking the “abundant life”, the rich blessings of God, the path to prosperity. Offer honey and everyone comes. It is not a hard sell. Offer poverty and suffering and watch the pack thin out.
Few seem to understand Jesus’ words. Do not be materialistic, sell your possessions, give to the poor. His words speak to my heart. Having so little I want for nothing. True Contentment. Few find it, few have it and even fewer seem to understand it. Cultural relativism and corporate capitalism have blinded us with marketing fears and phobias. Consuming to ‘fit in’ , our insecurities played upon.
The American Dream – “own your own home”…simply became the Australian one. Yet hospitals are filled with the results of 40 years of mortgage stress (as a Christian Nurse I know first hand). Immune systems giving way to cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes born from the life of ‘more’. One in four now will have diabetes by 60. How few know they will lose a foot, a limb, or a kidney from it? Too much honey is not good for you.
Jesus broke the mould for following societal norms, he traversed cultural relativism unscathed and left as He arrived. With nothing.
His treasure was in heaven.
Where is yours?