15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
This verse stands against what much of the world feels about Christmas. Christmas has become a holiday of shopping, giving and acquiring. American families spend an average of over $800 on Christmas gifts. Do we really believe that our lives do “not consist in the abundance of our possessions”?
I think we like to say we don’t care about possessions, but if we look at all of the abundance we have in our lives, it would tell a very different story. Covetousness is “marked by inordinate desire for wealth or possessions or for another’s possessions”1 Do you have a an inordinate desire for possessions or for someone else’s possessions? We can be covetous when we want stuff too much or are jealous of what others have. Can covetous describe you?
How do you handle your possessions? Ever since my girls were little, we always had them sort through their toys before Christmas and donate those they no longer played with before the onslaught of new toys came. As they have gotten older, they do the same with their clothing and we donate it to a local Christian organization.
We need to understand we are not defined by what we possess and be on guard against this thought process. If we want to truly live our lives as though our possessions don’t define us, we need to take a serious look at how much we possess. I am as guilty as anyone when it comes to collecting stuff and this verse was very convicting for me this morning.
Take stock of your possessions. Do you have an abundance? Are there things you could donate or share with others? Are you covetous? Spend some time with the Lord and let Him search your heart on this topic and be obedient to what He would have you do about it. Find a way to be more generous with others so you can truly live your life not defined by your possessions.