possessive possessions

And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” ... Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. [Matthew 19:16,21-22 ESV]

The relationship of faith to wealth, possessions and materialism is a tenuous one.
I wonder if this man who came to Jesus was known for his wealth and possessions?
Or maybe Jesus discerned this as he spoke with him?

Interesting how the man came to Jesus with a question about eternal life.
Seemed to think eternal life was earned by doing instead of believing.
Such is the thinking of many who want faith to be about good deeds.

I know people like this man - I often act like him.
People who seem to keep the ten commandments.
People who appear very moral but are very materialistic.

I think that many of us often have a strange attachment to our things.
We find that our possessions are possessing us instead of us them.
If we desire to be perfect or mature we must let go of our 'things'.

Lord, help me to let go of the things that draw my attention away from you.

... this devotion is part of the Red Letters series. Click here to read more.


  1. Quite a few years ago, I read an article in a Christian Magazine that talked about "Stuff"....

    Whether is expensive, or from the yard sale, any and everything we possess in this life is "Stuff"...can't take it with us, and our kids will give it to the goodwill.

    So, I started a new mine frame, looking a all my material possession as just "Stuff"...It's been a very freeing way to live.

    Maybe the rich young ruler, didn't realize it was just stuff, and Jesus was offering him Riches that would remain forever.

    Love your meditations, Bob.

  2. It has always helped me to remember that all this "stuff" (good description will one day all burn up (2 Peter 3:10,11). It helps me keep things in perspective. It will be a lovely bonfire.

  3. I have a lot of possessions. I fall in love with things. Here we are at a point in our lives when we have to downsize and it is difficult for me to let go. They do control me, that I know!

    1. We downsized half of our things in 2010 when we moved to our loft Debby. It takes a bit of vigilance to not reaccumulate. ツ


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