Holding On With Open Hands

open hands“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.” (Luke 12:15)

Reminders … we all have them and probably all of us need them more than we would care to admit! The popularity of sticky notes … the availability of sounds and alarms on our cell phones, IPads and computers would testify to the value of reminders.

God’s inspired and revealed Word is chocked full of instruction, guidance, admonition, encouragement, comfort, rebuke and reminders! Some of those reminders can also be somewhat stinging to our hearts, minds, and our lives. The following questions can be asked for all of us to consider, reflect upon, and then answer:

  • When is enough … enough?
  • When is too much … too much?
  • How much stuff do we really need?
  • Where do we draw the line on wanting, having and even hoarding our possessions?

These are tough questions that have even tougher answers! We do live in a very materialistic world and we are all surrounded by so much that appeals to us and that has the ability to even seduce us into thinking, “I’ve just got to have that!” It’s a problem for children when they see commercials even on their videos urging them to purchase the next game, toy, etc. Adults are no different; it’s just that the price of the toys gets a great deal more expensive. I’ve seen it through the years with my fellow golfers … they’ve got to have the latest and greatest clubs, bag, shoes, clothes and balls! And they are told that each of these new items will make the ball go straighter and longer. If you add up all of the promised additional distances, it would seem that even the amateur would be driving all of the greens! Ok, this writer will even admit there have been times in my life I succumbed to the appeal and the enticement.

Each of us have been so richly blessed in so many ways, whether it’s with the physical things, but most importantly through the kindness, love and grace of the Lord (1 Thessalonians 5:18) and the spiritual blessings He alone can offer. The Lord never intended for us to become so enamored, so possessive of our possessions that we can’t and even refuse to let go of them! We can say, “But I’ve worked so hard to get to this place in life” or “You don’t understand just how much we’ve sacrificed to have these things.” Understood! But aren’t we all just really stewards of that which was never intended to last forever anyway?

Our families, our possessions, and yes even our very lives are simply on loan to us from God and He expects us to use these wisely, yet we try desperately to hold on to them with clutched hands.   We don’t want to lose these possessions or have them taken away from us, even pried out of our hands! The case could be made that materialism is the main rival to God in the hearts and lives of men! We must remember that real joy, happiness and contentment are actually a product of the way we think (See Proverbs 23:7). It was Jesus, the Son of God, who said it this way in Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Each of us needs to remind ourselves to hold life and its temporary things with open hands. After all, is there anything we can take with us when we die?   Remind yourself regularly of this truth: We are the recipients not the originators of every gift, possession and even the talents that we have!

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17)

 

Bill Fairchild, Jr.

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