Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s
life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses (Luke 12:15).
Anyone who has moved before understands
the feeling that we possess far too many things than is worth bringing to the
new place. We either give or throw them away these extras or begrudgingly fork
out unbudgeted money to ship them. It is beyond comprehension how we could have
managed to acquire so much. And, many of our items have not been in active use
for who knows how long. Perhaps we have even forgotten that we own some of these
“Take heed and beware of
covetousness.” Our Lord Jesus knows very well this human tendency to amass
things for ourselves. Some things are freebies. Some things come into our possession
via impulse buying or special sales. We keep them because we think we need them
now or, if not now, sometime in the future.
The tendency to acquire physical
things is only human. It hints at a certain insecurity toward our lives and
future, which, to some extent, is assuaged by the act of possessing. But do possessions
really bring security?
“One’s life does not consist in
the abundance of the things he possesses,” Lord Jesus continues. After striving
for acquisitions, no one can take anything with him when he dies.
When we move and leave a place, we
have a foretaste of this irony as we struggle over what to do with the
possessions we own. Death is called the leveler—he who has much and he who has
little are on par when life ends. It is the essence of one’s life that differentiates
one man from another. And life’s essence does not consist of the things we
Since no man takes anything with
him when he dies, it is perhaps wise to strive for the imperishable things
during our short stint on earth. “Seek first the kingdom of God
and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Mt 6:33). Life
springs surprises on us. Wealth and possessions can be lost overnight, but God
promises to take care of our needs in this life. That leaves us plenty of room
and time to work at the things that life truly consists of, instead of things
that we cannot take with us.
Questions for Reflection:
What are the things that life
really consists of?
What are some steps we can take to
move away from chasing physical possessions to enriching our lives with what is