Hoarding, Messes, and True Life

August 8, 2019

If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and the sake of the Good News, you will find true life. Mark 8:35

Susan (name changed to protect the guilty) had a secret pleasure. There was a special ice cream treat she liked so much that she would occasionally buy it just for herself and hide it in the freezer. One day she ran into the store, and the ice cream was all she got. Her husband had the kids and she felt certain she could hide her stash before they got home. To her dismay, not only was his car already back in the driveway, but another car was there as well. The package had twelve treats, and she briefly, but only briefly, considered bringing them in and giving everyone a surprise treat on this very hot day. But then she thought, “What? That would leave only six for me!” She promised herself not to get involved in conversation so she could run out and get them in a couple of minutes.

You already know what happened next. She screamed with surprise and joy when she went inside, because it was a close friend and her husband visiting who had moved out of state! Everyone was laughing and talking with great excitement. They ordered pizza, and hours passed in great reunion. She went to bed in much contentment.

The next morning, she thought of those treats. But not until she opened her car door and saw the gunky mess in her passenger seat. The heat and time had destroyed the secret treasure she wouldn’t share. No one punished her; it was a natural consequence.

That’s what Jesus was saying. He wasn’t threatening us with punishment for our self-centered, risk-avoiding, me-first behavior. He was simply stating the way the world works that He created. Things meant to be used decay, melt, wither, and are destroyed when we hoard them. Even the hoarder doesn’t get to truly enjoy them. If we try to hold our own lives to our chest and stay safe, nothing awesome happens. WE can’t multiply, grow, or truly experience life. But the one who freely shares his life, the one who gives it away for the sake of the Good News . . . Wow! He will find true Life. Life full and overflowing, life that multiples, expands, and gets more fulfilling and larger as life goes on. It’s the way God designed it to work.

  • Choosing true life means losing my grip on the things I am afraid to lose. What in your life do you hold dear and don’t want God or anyone else to touch? Why?
  • What need are you most afraid God won’t meet if you surrender all your resources to Him?
  • Talk to God about your fears and today, all day, pursue true life.