*I wrote this for a series at church about ownership/money/generosity*

Caution: this series will not be comfortable.
What we’re about to start may cut to the heart,
Cause as Jesus remarked:
“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Where is your treasure?
Cause I’d venture to say many of us today
Have laid our treasures in all the wrong places.
Placed our hopes in things that are destined to pass away.
Like grass that fades, withers, dies.
And I am no exception.
Too often we believe lies that security can be bought with money.
That fast cars will make us happy,
That the biggest house or newest phone
Will somehow make us feel less alone.
It’s not true.
Do you own stuff or does your stuff own you?

Ownership: it’s a funny idea us humans invented to pretend like there’s some corner of the universe that actually belongs to us.
We arrogantly lay claim, crafting our own domains.
Collecting and collecting to create our own kingdoms.
The problem?
There’s only 1 true king.
And all the things we’ve held so dearly
Are merely given to us on loan.
We do not own anything.

What is there in all of existence that you created from scratch?
Did you catch the individual particles and piece them together?
Did you, like a magician, reach in to the top hat of nothingness and pull out all this.
No! God alone told the abyss to become galaxies,
How can we act as if we own anything when everything is the work of HIS hands?

There’s no such thing as a “self-made man.”
Even our very ability to make money is a heavenly gift:
Our minds, our time, our bodies and abilities,
The opportunities we’ve been given.
None of these did we create.

We are stewards, no more.
And whether rich or poor, God has entrusted us with so much.
We must not lose touch with this:
God has given us HIS good gifts for HIS good purposes.
And though this applies more broadly than just money,
Let’s not skip past that too quickly.
God literally owns your cell phone and your house,
Your fridge and your car,
Your credit card and every star in the sky.
Every single material possession,
Is to be at his discretion.

So don’t hold these lessons at arms length.
It is too easy to agree in theory that consumerism isn’t right.
To hide from the light by keeping it intellectual,
While our actual lives remain unchanged.
May you dare to be one of those strange people who holds their stuff lightly,
Who rightly yields to God’s authority over all of his property.
I pray that we would increasingly know the freedom of being owned by a good master.