The Priority of Our Possessions
“That’s mine!” This phrase is one of the earliest phrases spoken by children of every family. From the very beginning of our cognitive existence there is a sense of possession, often with an unfortunately selfish bent to it. And we struggle to lose this innate sense of entitlement and selfishness. In the middle chapters of the gospel of Luke this theme is repeated over and over. In Luke chapter 12 we have the parable of the rich fool. Just before teaching that parable Jesus utters the following words: 15 And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” Jesus is not speaking to a gathering of preschoolers; rather, He is speaking to adults and by extension to you and me.
Our society and culture is particularly infected with the plague of possession priority. We define ourselves by the cars that we drive, the clothes we wear and the cologne we put on (though I don’t use cologne…) We are constantly inundated with this but this obviously was a problem before the internet and commercial television. The realization that your life does not consist in the abundance of things you possess points to the fact that your life then does consist in something else. Your life consists in relationships. If you are a follower of Jesus, your life consists in your relationship to God and then how that plays out in your relationships with others. But even if you are not a follower of Jesus, your life consists in relationships. I’ve been to many funerals and still have never heard possessions exalted above relationships.
Please take these words of Jesus to heart. Your life doesn’t consist of your stuff…so please let your priorities reflect that truth.