One of my prized childhood possessions was a helicopter toy with moving rotors. You could place two figures into the helicopter and it had spring-loaded missiles. One day after church, we had some visitors come over and my helicopter went missing. I found it the next day with both rotors snapped off the main body. Needless to say – I was crushed.
Have you ever experienced this? Life has many of these moments. Valuable personal possessions are broken, lost, or stolen. As a child, you may be inconsolable. As an adult (and/or parent), you need a Biblical framework for dealing with the loss of personal possessions.
The overarching principle is that God owns everything. Understanding and applying this principle will free you from any sense of loss or emotional attachment to your possessions. Have you ever noticed how young siblings fight over possession of toys? I think that’s an unmasked example of how we can respond to God’s ownership of everything. Like a toddler, we didn’t purchase the toy – but we think that it’s exclusively our own possession. Not so. God owns everything.
God promises to give you what you need. I have always been fascinated by God’s miraculous provision for the Jewish people in the desert. The portions were exactly what the tribes needed to survive. In the New Testament, Jesus talks about the Creator’s care over Creation and His greater care for us. I like this paraphrase of Matthew 6: “Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.” Practice a greater affection for things that really matter. Have you ever met someone who was consumed with a hobby? I mean really consumed. If you love cars or collectibles – how much more should you love things of eternal value?
And finally – You can’t take it with you. The discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb was remarkable for one reason – thieves hadn’t plundered the tomb. The boy king had all the symbols of royal power to accompany him into the afterlife. We marvel at his wealth – but he couldn’t take it with him. One of the biggest problems we have is that we place too much value on our personal possessions.
Are your possessions enabling greater effectiveness for the Kingdom or are they robbing you of opportunities? Think about it.