Which of your possessions would you be least willing to part with?
“Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.” Luke 18, v.22
During my lifetime, I have amassed a lot of possessions, which are kept in a room in our house. Stored would probably be a better description, as rarely do I look at the majority of them. Sometimes, I find that they prevent my doing what is right in life. It is truly said that “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God”. Perhaps I should give everything away, to free myself of the burden of it all.
Should we give all of our possessions away?
We are told that possessions should be used in service to others. Why do I therefore find it difficult to lend things to people? There are times when I read a book, listen to a CD or watch a DVD and think that a friend might enjoy it too. However, in the past I have more often bought that friend their own copy rather than lend them my own. Although, as a musician, I am aware of the copyright issues involved with lending items, I know deep down that I just don’t want my things to be borrowed, as they often come back in a lesser condition than that in which they were lent. Too often, I place the emphasis on the object, rather than the deed.
I recently bought a DVD which, after watching, I lent to a friend who I thought would enjoy it. He has eventually watched it, after four months! During this time, he kept in a drawer with his own DVDs. This riled me somewhat, as I had been been taught that, if we borrowed something, we kept it separate from our own things and gave it back in good time. However, I had watched the disc, why was I worried about when it came back? My selfish wish to protect my belongings had destroyed the kind thought I had originally had to lend it to my friend.
Isn’t helping other people enough?
Sometimes I think that I should be excused these feelings, as I am willing to DO things for other people. I am happy to help with jobs if I can, so long as people don’t want to borrow things from me. But of what benefit is that to me? I am not going to develop spiritually if I only operate within my comfort zone. Then again, do I assist out of a true sense of compassion or a selfish one of ‘wasn’t I good to help’? What if I am asked for help from somebody who I don’t particularly like? I hope that I would act in a generous way but often fall at this hurdle. I am reminded of the words from Luke’s gospel: “…love your enemies and do good and lend, expecting nothing in return”. How challenging life is at times.
Where does this leave me on my spiritual path? Probably not very far along, at the moment. Where have I gone off the rails? A lack of regular spiritual input from church services hasn’t helped, which is why I have greatly enjoyed our church’s online worship gatherings. Somehow, I have felt more in touch with my inner self than I have for a long time. Applying myself to certain tasks during the lockdown has helped me regain some sense of purpose. At this strange time, I have perhaps been able to reconnect with some of those things which make me truly me. For this I am grateful; all I need to do now is clear out my room full of stuff!
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