Links Daily Devotional

How Much Is Too Much?

“One’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Luke 12:15, NIV)

For a whole lot of golfing years, I tucked old golf balls away here and there in my garage. Last year, in cleaning things out, I brought them all together and spilled them into one bucket. It’s a big bucket. Not so big that I could open a driving range, mind you. But big enough that a Sam’s Club inventory buyer would be quite proud to see so many balls in one container.

What am I going to do with all these balls? Beats me. Apparently, golfers are one of the few people schools can still discriminate against where I live. Every campus gate has a sign that reads, “No skateboarding, model airplane flying, or golfing.” Open, grassy fields aren’t otherwise easy to come by. Maybe I’ll have to purchase a mat and a net and pretend I know where it’s going when the balls I hit are caught six feet in front of me and fall lamely to the floor.

It is at times like these that I recognize how little value we find in accumulation. As a favorite musician friend, Jon Troast, has lyricized: “Stuff makes stuff.” And this is true whether we’re talking balls and clubs or tools and clothes. It’s so easy to just keep adding.

Spiritually speaking, there are even greater dangers than the spending and storing aspects of accumulation. Consider the problems of identity and attempted soul-filling. Even among the supposedly “older and wiser” crowd, we can catch each other playing a neat little game of Let-Me-Show-You-My-Stuff. Sadder still is when the show-and-tell ends, often too does the friendship. When the things meant to fulfill us don’t, we have only one place to go back to: empty.

Jesus said that he came to give us life, and life more abundant (John 10:10). Yet he also taught about the wiles of accumulation, warning, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

Every purchase we make may be made at two levels. We pay with our wallet, yes; but we can also pay with our heart. We are always at risk of giving a bit of ourselves over to the things we possess. And bit by bit, they come to possess us.

We are, actually, supposed to be a people possessed—but not by possessions. We are to be possessed, occupied, indwelt by the Holy Spirit. God is the one who is to be resident in our hearts. God is the one who is to be our treasure. God is the one who can fully and permanently fill our souls. Not one little thing nor a whole bunch of one little things can take his place. So simply, believer, don’t let them!

Jeff Hopper
September 15, 2014
Copyright 2014 Links Players International
The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.