Reality Check

November 22, 2022

After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. 1 Timothy 6:7-8 NLT

A number of years ago I had a significant health crisis, and the doctors ordered me to rest for a week, mentally and physically. That’s a tough job for me, but I was giving it my best shot, resting in the recliner quietly with my thoughts. Our daughter Rachel lived close by, and she stopped in to see me for a minute. I was lost in my thoughts and missed hearing her when she came in. She was standing in the room a moment before I realized she was there. When I saw her, she laughed and said, “What are you thinking about?”

I said, “Well, if you want the truth, I was just looking around this room thinking about what I figured you kids would send to Goodwill or a yard sale when I die.” We both laughed aloud, but it was true and we knew it.

We all need that reality check. Our lives here have a termination time—we don’t know when. We just know that we arrived on the planet with nothing but ourselves, and we will leave it with nothing. But we forget that so easily. Most of us already have more clothes than we could ever wear out. We have closets and drawers packed with clothes we haven’t worn in months or more, and yet we will get more clothes as Christmas gifts. We have more than enough food at home, but we get bored with it and order out or go out, paying for food someone else cooked.

Nothing wrong with having clothes and food—no condemnation here. But Paul simply advises us, in the light of the temporariness of our possessions, to be content with enough food and clothing.

That’s not where we are, though, is it? We want more and more. Not just more and better clothes, or more and tastier food, we want stuff. We have stuff. Stuff overflowing our houses and garages. So much stuff we have storage units to stack totes of things that were so important we had to have them, but now we have no room for them. So much stuff that we purge our closets, our garages, our basements, our attics to have yearly yard sales and fill bags for Goodwill or Amvets. And next year we do it again because we have stashed more stuff all year long. Nothing inherently sinful about stuff. But when do we have enough? Especially when we can’t take it with us.

Jesus urged us, since we will leave it all here, to send some treasures on ahead to our forever home. We do that by investing generously in the things that matter to God—the kingdom He is building and the people He loves. Those are the things that will last forever and we will always have.

  • How can I “send some stuff” ahead of me this week?