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No Tears for Things

Posted on January 20, 2011

I recently spoke at a church about a biblical view of managing money. In my humble, but accurate opinion, I thought the message was rather good. However, one of those in attendance that day stated a truth more powerfully and succinctly than I did.

After my teaching, she waited to greet me. She earnestly held my hand as she shook it and said, "It's taken me about sixty years to learn that I don't need to cry over anything that doesn't have life."

She went on to explain that her house had recently burned down. No one died or was hurt from the blaze, but she lost most of her things. Generous church members, family, and a bit of insurance helped her replace the replaceable stuff.

Don't cry over things. Mmm. I think that's a perspective that God would like us to embrace. Do we anguish over a buddy who doesn't have a relationship with Jesus Christ as much as we anguish over a decline in value of our retirement plan?

Do we get angry when someone scrapes our truck in the parking lot but doesn't show any emotion over the killing of babies in the womb? Do we have as much motivation and discipline to study God's Word as we do to work long and hard for a large, flat-screen TV?

Think of the energy, time, and focus we place on things: buying them, transporting them, displaying them, dusting them, insuring them, storing them, using them, securing them, moving them, bequeathing them, discarding them.

Jesus doesn't say material stuff is sinful. It's not wrong to have things. But He certainly minimizes things. He told a would-be follower that He doesn't have a home or a place to lay His head like animals. Although we're not told for certain, I don't get the impression Jesus went around Capernaum or Jerusalem with several U-haul-donkeys and a lot of baggage.

Jesus said our lives don't consist in the abundance of our possessions. Seek first the Kingdom mindset of loving God and loving people. Weep about what breaks God's heart.
Jeremy L. White is a board member of Men Who Win and a CPA with Blythe, White & Associates in Paducah, KY.

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