Fields of Gold Devotional
Day 6: October 19 by Seth & Celia McCormick
Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” Luke 12:13-15
“The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing”
“Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things”
“The More of Less: Finding Everything You Want Under Everything You Own”
Recently, popular culture has been flooded with messages of “let’s try less” in efforts to combat the effects of decades of “you need more”. But long before the books above were written, Jesus was proclaiming the same ideals to a group of thousands, and specifically to two brothers having a dispute over the division of their inheritance. It appears that, like in most arguments, both brothers were probably guilty. One for not giving his brother what was his due; the other for demanding that he get what was his. But Jesus doesn’t settle the fight. Instead, he warns us all against greed and that more possessions do not equal more life.
Like the quarreling brothers, we all want to assign meaning to our lives. We want to find significance in our place in the world. It’s when we feel discontent that we often try to greedily plug that hole in one way or another. It is easy to identify financial greed and consumerism, but Jesus warns us against all kinds of greed.
You may find that your brand of greed does not come in the form of physical belongings, but could be covetous in another way. Like amassing accolades and awards for the sake of self-gratification, or accumulating “friends” “likes” and “comments” as a way to measure your worth. Desiring after things in this way distracts us from meaningful work and the connections that do bring life more true joy and significance. The pursuit of them separates us from a life filled with relationships with our family, our neighbors, and our God. The good news is that Jesus clearly states he has more in mind for us than an endless circle of chasing material possessions.
The message of today’s minimalism is the same of Jesus to the two brothers: What you own does not define your life. Stripping your possessions back to what genuinely adds value to your day and helps you function allows for more space to create a life. Not just the physical space that naturally comes with fewer possessions, but room for our minds and souls to grow. It’s the emotional, spiritual, and financial bandwidth to use fruitfully toward our individual roles in furthering God’s kingdom.
Most Gracious God, please help me hear the truth meant for us in the words Jesus said to the crowd. Guide and direct my heart and mind in deciding to value relationships with people, creation and You more than owning material things I don’t need. In this space, help me focus on the fullness of your love and sharing it with others. In your name we pray. Amen.
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