Ecclesiastes 5:9-20 (NIV)
9 The increase from the land is taken by all; the king himself profits from the fields.
10 Whoever loves money never has enough;
whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.
This too is meaningless.
11 As goods increase,
so do those who consume them.
And what benefit are they to the owners
except to feast their eyes on them?
12 The sleep of a laborer is sweet,
whether they eat little or much,
but as for the rich, their abundance
permits them no sleep.
13 I have seen a grievous evil under the sun:
wealth hoarded to the harm of its owners,
14 or wealth lost through some misfortune,
so that when they have children
there is nothing left for them to inherit.
15 Everyone comes naked from their mother’s womb,
and as everyone comes, so they depart.
They take nothing from their toil
that they can carry in their hands.
16 This too is a grievous evil:
As everyone comes, so they depart,
and what do they gain,
since they toil for the wind?
17 All their days they eat in darkness,
with great frustration, affliction and anger.
18 This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. 19 Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. 20 They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.
Hello ladies I have really missed our weekly visit. I am so excited to get back on track with our weekly devotionals.
Today’s lesson is probably more for me than you. However I am hoping that others can benefit also. If you happen to be a neat freak this may not be the lesson for you, or you could look at it this way; this is your opportunity to practice the discipline of not passing judgment on another Sister in Christ.
As most of you know my family recently experienced the joy of moving (oh what joy). Our daughter will be leaving home to attend College in the fall so my husband and I decided that it is time to downsize.
During the process of this move I began to realize just how much STUFF we had collected over the almost six years that we had lived in our home, and not to mention the almost twenty years that my husband and I have been married and collecting Stuff.
I think that it is just amazing how Stuff wanders into your home at night while you are sleeping and you don’t realize until years later that it has happened. It is also amazing how we hold on to things that we are no longer using, many times just because it’s ours. Even though it is no longer serving a purpose in our lives, we protect it with the tenacity of the National Guard.
My daughter and I decided to get brave and tackle my closet. (Scary) I had clothes that I literally had not worn in years in my closet. I had to ask myself if I am not using these garments what purpose are they serving and why do I feel the need to hold on to them? I came to the way over due conclusion that it was time to donate some things to charity.
As I surveyed my home I realized that we just had too much Stuff. Not only clothing, but books, dishes, furniture, games, puzzles, videos etc. and too much other Stuff as well. Please don’t get me wrong I enjoy beautiful homes and beautiful things as much as anyone else, after all my degree is in Interior Design. I simply came to the realization that for my life less would certainly become more.
When the large truck backed into my driveway to accept our donations, I was excited to have someone to share these items with, I knew I was doing the right thing and I knew they would be appreciated and valued and not just stuck in a closet collecting dust
Ok, so yes I am using this as a therapy session, but I feel real sure that I am not the only one that has too much Stuff.
So many of you (especially the ones with too much Stuff) are asking right about now so what’s your point? Well, I really learned a few things from this experience.
- I have been blessed immensely spiritually as well as materially.
- I began to realize that I was putting wa-a-a-ay too much time and energy into protecting and taking care of Stuff that I am not even using. Also it is expensive to take care of Stuff.
- God blesses me to be a blessing to others. Not to hoard it all for myself.
- The real joy in life is in investing time in relationships not in working day and night to acquire and protect or maintain Stuff. After all when God calls me home it will not be leaving with me.
- Because of the abundance of Stuff I had I began to feel like the children of Israel on their way to the Promise Land. What should have been a one to two day move turned into a one week move. All because we had too much Stuff.
- plan to travel light. After all I am just passing through. Why should I be weighed down with Stuff?
Luke 12:15 (NIV)
15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
Ecclesiastes 2:1-11 (NIV)
2 I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless. 2 “Laughter,” I said, “is madness. And what does pleasure accomplish?” 3 I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was good for people to do under the heavens during the few days of their lives.
4 I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. 5 I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. 6 I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. 7 I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. 8 I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers, and a harem[a] as well—the delights of a man’s heart. 9 I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.
10 I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
I refused my heart no pleasure.
My heart took delight in all my labor,
and this was the reward for all my toil.
11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
nothing was gained under the sun.