A dear Christian friend has 6 artificial joints; 4 in her left hand at the knuckles and in both knees because of severe arthritis and joint deterioration. Recently she wrote saying, “When my husband retired we lived for 10 months with friends of ours in a 2 bedroom, 1 bath house while he helped them build their new home. During those months I found I needed very little of my own stuff to be content and happy. In fact I was probably happier without all the things we own.
Then it was time to move our things out of storage and into the rent house and finally into our own new house. I became ill shortly after we moved into our new home and still have not unpacked all the boxes we have in the garage. Now that my husband and I have lived here 16 years we are beginning to discuss getting rid of most of what we own so it won’t be such a problem when we have to downsize.
What a realization of how much money we have wasted in things we thought we needed or wanted. It makes us realize how we have not been the best stewards we should have been with the Lord’s money. May the Lord forgive us for our selfishness and covetousness.”
IF WE OWN LESS, THAT CAN BE BECAUSE WE ARE NOT COVETOUS.
Over the years I have had numerous opportunities to deal with people who either had a close call with death or knew their days were numbered because of a terminal illness. Almost to a person, each one wanted to get rid of material possessions before they passed from this life. Some thought of sharing with the poor or passing on memorabilia to relatives. Women generally wanted to empty personal closet space and drawers or to “clean house.”
Though frail in body, yet still of a sound mind, they determined to give away everything except what they actually needed to function. That seemed to make a difference to their outlook and to their peace of mind—as though they somehow could make peace with God before they passed from this life into eternity.
Some will say all this talk of owning less sounds a bit like the Minimalist revolution or perhaps the New Age cult. Who are these people and how close are they to Christian thinking? Have we experienced their music or their artwork? These philosophers say of their own music:
Born from an aesthetic that aims to induce a sense of inner calm, new age music emerged from the meditational and holistic fields. Generally, these are harmonious and non-threatening albums that are allied with new age philosophies encouraging spiritual transcendence and physical healing. Some of these albums are artistically satisfying as well as therapeutic.
New Age artist include Yanni, Enya, Jim Brickman, John Tesh and others who brought the refreshing, clear notes of real music many longed for after several decades of jazz, hard rock and the screamers of heavy metal groups.
But how does the New Age philosophy or Minimalism compare with a genuine desire follow the Lord and rid ourselves of covetousness as taught in the Holy Scriptures? If you have never studied this topic, you might like to try searching a group of lessons listed below. You will see there is no comparison between God’s direction for our lives and modern man’s philosophies. Happy searching!
A different type of lesson about covetousness is here: Ironies of our Culture