You are more than your possessions

Saturday, April 12, 2008

It's that season again. When you unfolded the paper today, you were at the start of about a three-day window to meet the traditional deadline to get your taxes completed and filed. How did another year pass so quickly? Where did that money go?

Money seems to fall into three categories. We are either earning it, spending it or in debt because of the lack of it. The one category that money seductively promises but always fails to deliver is contentment. Multimillion-dollar lottery winners have claimed bankruptcy with accompanied statements that their lives are worse after the money than before. For those on the fast track to wealth, life and friendship are abundant until the money runs out. Why is it that so many of us strive to reach a certain financial status, only to realize that once you "arrive" (whatever that looks like) the view is not as glamorous as expected?

Proverbs 15:16 reads "Better is a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble with it." The value of human life has never been estimated by rising and falling stock prices or quarterly economic analysis. Sons of Adam and daughters of Eve, bearers of the image of their creator, realize that even when they possess nothing, with fear of the Lord they have everything. Fear is not of terror or agonized horror but of tremendous respect because of the power.

Spring is always a good time to take stock. To open the windows, let the fresh air of spring push out the stagnant air of winter and to look around your home and wonder "Where did all this stuff come from and when can I have a garage sale?"

Great treasure, either great in value or great in quantity, seems to follow a predictable pattern. It is desired, it is collected, the newness becomes contaminated and it is curbed. The difference between a garage sale and garbage is a 6-foot table. What once could not be passed up has now become past.

Treasure and all the troubles acquiring it and keeping it will never make a person.

You are more than your possessions.

Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father and serves as the associate pastor at the First Baptist Church in Jackson.

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