Weekly Thought – August 4, 2015
Fred took Oswald Chambers’ admonition to “sit loose to things” quite literally. He never allowed possessions to hold him hostage. There were few things that needed replacing if enough duct tape were properly applied.
Thank you for your consistent encouragement and support. Your words of gratitude help us in our work. Your illustrations of how Fred’s thoughts strengthened you gratify us and undergird the BWF Project.
Things Are Important
Practical excellence starts with our relationship to things. Most of our time, energy, and thought are involved with the material. So, we must ask ourselves: “Are our possessions hurting or helping us?”
Accumulation has a philosophy. Social historians look closely at a culture in relation to its artifacts. Understanding their material remnants tells a vivid story about the people and the way they lived. When there was written history, it is often eclipsed by the study of what the people accumulated. It is like the difference between saying and doing.
I often laughingly consider what archaeologists will piece together about us when they find piles of non-biodegradable butter tubs!
Ads tell us we can have it all! Sadly, too many buy into the idea that lacking the latest and greatest gadget labels one as a failure. I once read a sign saying, “If you can’t count it, it don’t count.” Foolishness. I tend to believe the more things I own, the more they own me. Ask my family about my different hobby phases and they will quickly tell stories of boating gone awry or temporary woodworking projects which turned into oddly permanent fixes.
Buying the good life is another mistaken idea about things. I have been poor and I have been not poor, and certainly not poor gives me more options. But it didn’t create a substantial life – character choices does that. I have seen way too many who thought the good life consisted of stuff, but they ended up mediocre, spoiled, rich brats. Growing up I saw men and women in the mill district of North Nashville who had very few things, but knew what good in life meant.
A word about money in the Christian world. It can gain someone recognition quickly. Big givers climb the pyramid of fame with jet speed. Ironically, some of those with reputations for giving hold tightly to their assets but promise them for future gifts. A very wise man once said, “There is no better job than being a big potential donor.”
Christians must hold the proper view of things. Scripture tells us much that is valued in this world will be burned up as “wood, hay, and stubble.” We cannot neglect the importance of things, but we must never put our trust in them. And of course, we must always “sit loose to things” as Oswald Chambers says, for they are never ours to keep, but just to manage.
This week think about: 1) How tied am I to my things? 2) What things in my life define me? 3) When archaeologists dig up my “things,” what story will they tell?
Words of Wisdom: “Growing up I saw men and women in the mill district of North Nashville who had very few things, but knew what good in life meant.”
Wisdom from the Word: “For what benefit is it for a person to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his life?” (Mark 8:36 NET Bible)