What Do We Really “Own”?
On Friday Janet and I became the legal “owners” of 126 Conley Rd. in Mifflinburg. Since we’ve not sold our house in NY, we get the “privilege” of paying real estate taxes in two states….so glad to do my part! If you’ve purchased a house recently you know that at least two trees have to give their lives for all the paper that you have to sign, almost none of which you are given time to read before signing. But that’s not my point…
My point today is on the word “ownership”. We seem to be very concerned about owning things. There is something about human nature that wants to acquire things and say that we own them. In reality, none of us owns his/her home. If we have a mortgage on the property then we don’t really own it. We are just “renting” it from the bank. Even when the mortgage is paid, we don’t really own the home. If we choose to stop paying property taxes on the property the home will be taken away from us…so we don’t really own it. I’d like to take this step a little further. Let’s think about children. We say things like “our” children or “I have six children” which sort of implies ownership, of course, not in the way that we think of ownership of property but nonetheless, if we’re not careful we begin to feel like our children belong to us in a way that is not biblical.
A biblical way of understanding possessions or even responsibilities is that we own nothing. We are simply stewards of everything that God has given us. There is no thing or no one that we possess solely because of our own ability or effort. If you have an ability to earn a lot of money; where did that ability come from? Did it not come from God? Of course it did. If you have several children, where did the ability to have children come from? It came from God and God alone. What we must understand is that we are all simply stewards of what God has blessed us with or given to us. We don’t really own anything. The right perspective on this helps us to keep the right perspective regarding things of this world. We are in this world but we are not of this world. Our minds should not be focused on the things of this world, but rather on the things of God. Saying that we “own” things can lead us down paths we don’t want to go.
So, I’m not asking you to radically alter a loan application or anything like that. What I’m asking you to do is to acknowledge that God owns everything and in His sovereignty and omniscience He has given some of His stuff to us to manage, whether it be things or people. Let’s always look to God for guidance and direction in how to manage His stuff. If we do that, we will be successful stewards.
Have a wonderful, stewardly day!