Don't Touch My StuffI walked into our house one day at noon, only to find a small TV sitting in the middle of the dining room. One of our leather-cased slide projectors was on the floor of the living area. In our bedroom, a jewelry box had been dumped out on the bed.
You may have immediately thought they were robbed, but on the day of the event, I couldn't grasp that idea. First, I called my husband to see if he'd been home. When he said, "No," I called the police.
They were checking out the house and making a report when he arrived. They felt I had startled the robber and showed me where someone had entered through a small back window.
We were called in once, to check on stolen items that had been recovered. The amount of stuff in the police storage area boggled my mind, but none of it was ours. We missed our 35mm camera, college and high school rings and some other jewelry which we never replaced. But nothing could have made Jesus' words in Matthew more meaningful.
A "Heads Up"
He said, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven . . . for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:19-21, NKJV).
The place of our affection is often referred to as our heart. We tend to use the word "love" quite loosely when it comes to things. If we really "like" something, we tend to say we "love" it.
Jesus was not saying we couldn't have things to enjoy. His was a warning regarding attachment and priorities. Two guys who call themselves "The Minimalists" put it this way: "Real wealth, security and contentment come not from trinkets we amass, but from how we spend the one life we've been given."
Life By Choice
We can live as simply or as lavishly as we want, but Solomon said, "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life" (Proverbs 4:23, NLT). Go ahead and enjoy what you have but don't hold on too tightly.
Life is more satisfying when shared, and that includes our talents as well as our "stuff." I admire the wealthy who are willing to part with high-dollar collections to benefit charitable organizations. But I also admire those with few worldly goods who freely share what they have with others in need.
The story of Robin Hood who stole from the rich to help the poor sounded good till I was the one stolen from. It was a great reminder to monitor my heart, and still is.
Instead of thinking don't touch my stuff, I became more aware of the need to say, "Here, let me share it."