by Ashley Perez
Lately I have been feeling the weight of things, not emotionally, but literally. I have too many things, we have too many things. Open your closet and it’s overwrought with unworn outfits purchased with little consideration for necessity. Same goes for our fridge or pantry. We have enough to eat, yet instead of eating what we have, we buy more on a whim. Technology is perhaps the ultimate purveyor of the “thing problem” in that as soon as we’ve bought it, it’s out of date and obsolete.
I am on a quest to simplify my life. I want to eat healthy, own less, and experience more. But my things keep getting in my way. A harmless vice, the love of objects, and yet there looms a deeper sense that something is very wrong. When we let the accumulation of things equal the accumulation of happiness, we quickly lose sight of everything that we as Christians stand for.
In Matthew 6:19-20 it says,
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
Store up your treasures in heaven.
Jesus is constantly reminding us to get our heads out of this world, reminding us that life on Earth was never meant to be permanent. Things are not evil, they do not in themselves possess any evil qualities, but man unfortunately does. We are so quick to forget why we were put here in the first place, to be the hands and feet of God, and instead put all our effort into things that Solomon says are completely “meaningless”. (Ecclesiastes 1:2-8)
Do not let the things of this Earth weigh you down, literally. Start looking through your life for excess and get rid of it. If you have clothes you don’t wear, food you don’t eat, or technology you no longer use, donate them, give them to those in need. But before you run out to replace those same things with the “newest model” or the “latest trend”, think about why you feel a need to have these things. What value will these objects add to your life?
It’s hard to change our habits, to let go of the things that once gave us value, and so we must constantly remind ourselves of why we’re really here. We are sons and daughters of God meant to bring his love and goodness as far as our reach extends. However, we often get so caught up in the pursuit of ourselves that we forget to pursue others, to pursue rich experiences and simple goodness.
It’s not that our daily lives are of little consequence, or that God hates interior design and new clothes, but rather that those things, our things, must be secondary to our pursuit of God’s kingdom.
“Seek first the Kingdom of Heaven above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:33)
What is holding you back from pursuing God’s kingdom above all else?