This summer, I have been consolidating two houses full of stuff into one. It has been a real chore. But it has also been an emotional experience. I have had to let go of long treasured items because I just do not have the space.
So, I wondered. What does the Bible have to say about decluttering, organizing, and getting rid of “stuff”?
The first lesson I came across was from Matthew 6:19-21 when Jesus spoke to a crowd of people. He definitely spoke about our “stuff” and not letting it be a top priority in our lives.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (ESV)
Jesus goes on to say that God takes care of all our needs. Those of us who think we have to save everything “in case we need it” should let things go and help others in need.
Matthew 6: 24-30 says “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” (ESV)
Paul talks about contentment in Philippians 4:12.
“I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.” (ESV)
We may not always have everything we want, but God supplies all we need. At this time in our lives, we may be dealing with many uncertainties, not doing what we want to do or going where we want to go, but He tells us to be content. We don’t need “stuff” to make us happy.
1 Timothy 6: 17-18 talks about being generous and willing to share.
“For the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share.” (ESV)
God has blessed us so we can be blessings to those in need.
Did you know the Bible even talks about throwing things away?
Ecclesiastes 3 speaks about there being a time for everything. Verse 6 says there is “a time to keep, and a time to cast away.” (ESV) There is a time to get rid of what we no longer use. It can be a good thing to discard or to recycle.
Finally, I found the story Jesus told in Luke 12: 15-21.
“And he said to them, ‘Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.’ And he told them a parable, saying, ‘The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
Each of these scriptures speaks to the many reasons I have struggled with “downsizing” and reducing the quantity of my possessions. But with each item, I take to the thrift store or give to another, I feel lighter and less burdened.
Hmmmm. I guess God knew that we can make our “stuff” so important that it takes hold of our hearts. I sure am glad God has the answer once again!
See you Sunday!