I am rich. There, I said it.
But I’ll let you in on a little secret: if you are reading this blog post right now, chances are, you are rich too. You just don’t realize it. I didn’t either, until a couple weeks ago when I came face to face with my prosperity. God’s been messing with my heart ever since.
We live the majority of our lives on autopilot, but do you ever have one of those moments when you are in the midst of a mundane task, and suddenly you “wake up?” That’s what happened to me.
I was cleaning my house one morning, not giving it much thought, until I looked at the clock. I had been cleaning for almost two hours, and I had nothing to show for it! My internal dialogue went something like this.
“There’s too much stuff in this house! Too much to keep clean! Why do we have so much crap?”
It became painfully obvious that I was spending the better part of my day “polishing my stuff.” Like a miserly king sitting upon his throne polishing his most prized possessions, I was walking around my house dusting and polishing items we don’t even use.
God began convicting me.
“If you didn’t have so much stuff, you wouldn’t have to spend so much time cleaning. You wouldn’t have piles on your counters if you had more room in your drawers. You wouldn’t be running out of closet space or feel like your house doesn’t have enough storage if you donate the things you don’t need.”
Seriously, I have stuff in my house that has the sole purpose of sitting in storage. I have clothes in my closet that I haven’t worn in years. I have more coffee mugs than a breakfast buffet, and yet I use the exact same mug every single morning.
What is wrong with me?
I’m reminded of the Bible verse that says “‘Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)
I always thought my husband and I lived a pretty modest lifestyle, and we do by most American standards. But what about Jesus’s standards? Maybe I don’t have a moth or vermin problem, and fortunately we have never been the victim of theft. But I do have a dust problem. I do have a rust problem. I’ve got an “I’m-running-out-of-room-for-all-my-crap,” problem.
But most of all, I’ve got a heart problem.
Somewhere along the line I bought into the lies of the world rather than believing the truth that Jesus speaks. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.” (Mark 10:21) And Jesus said to His disciples in verse 23, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
Jesus wasn’t just talking about the millionaires and billionaires of the world. He was talking about people like me. People who are so stinkin’ rich yet can’t even see it. People who are possessed by their possessions. People who spend more hours a day polishing, cleaning, organizing, and straightening up their “stuff” than living and loving.
What a time for me to come to this realization, during a season that is absolutely laced with consumerism. Christmas really had a different look and feel this year. But the sad thing is, this isn’t the first time God convicted me about my addiction to stuff. These seeds of disgust were planted about six months ago, yet somehow I managed to stifle the growth of generosity and a spirit of contentment in order to allow the weeds of greed to grow and take over.
I’d like to leave you with the following words, words I penned six months ago that now resurface with surprising clarity. May they stick this time.
For me. For you.
“As I examine the life of Jesus, I can’t help but come to one conclusion:
“God is calling us, who claim to be followers, to a life far more radical than we are currently living.
“Prayers for health, protection, and prosperity are good, but more so, we should be praying for God to wreck our hearts no matter the cost. Comfort and security are not promised to the man or woman who chooses to follow Jesus but rather, trouble, persecution, trials, and even earthly death.
“But take heart, dear follower; because He also promises that when we die to self “here,” we gain life “there.” Jesus came that we may have life abundantly, life to the fullest, not a house to the fullest, not a refrigerator or a bank account to the fullest. But a heart that is overflowing with love, peace, and joy no matter what our earthly circumstances. Dear follower, in this world you will have trouble. You will face difficulty. You will be uncomfortable.
“But take heart, for Jesus Christ the Lord and King has overcome the world, and He is worth it all.”