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The Problem With “Things” (Jim Gillaspie)


Jim Gillaspie

The joke comes in all different forms. The lonely man who places an add in the paper: "Desire to meet young lady with a fishing boat for romance and possible marriage - send picture of boat!" Or the young fellow who said to his fiance: "My business just failed, and I'm broke - I've lost everything. I hope you still love me." To which his fiance replied; "Of course I still love you - and I'm going to miss you too!" Being an amateur radio operator, I got a kick out of this one: "My wife said she was leaving me if I didn't get off this radio....OVER!" All of these stories point out a truth that we are not too proud of - we are preoccupied with things!

To some, the bottom line in the bank account is the measure of success. To others, it is the type of car you drive or brand of clothing that you wear. Many go through life knocking themselves out, trying to get ahead. They are too busy to enjoy life or their families right now. They are too busy to get involved in spiritual matters right now. Those things are always on the back burner. We have become the victims of one of the cruelest jokes of all times - living for things! Happiness seems always just out of reach. We live for that "some day" when all the work will be caught up, and all the money will be made. Meanwhile, life is passing us by! Our children are growing up and we don't even know it. Our friends and families are growing older, and we don't even know it. A song asks this question: "Why does it always seem to be, that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone?" Why? Because we are hypnotized by things.

Of course we have to work. Certainly we must provide for our families. But let's not lose sight of what is truly important in life. Jesus said: "Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of things which he possesseth" (Luke 12:15). Paul warned: "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things of the earth" (Col 3:1-2). Take a good look at what is really important. Examine your priorities in the light of the scriptures (Matt 6:33). (1) Things cannot comfort you, but the presence of the Lord can (1 Pet 5:7). (2) Things cannot bring peace into your heart, but prayer can (Phil 4:6-7). (3) Things cannot fill the empty void in your life, but sharing your life with your husband or wife can (Prov 5:18). Things are tools, not gods! They bring no joy by themselves. Don't be like the poor rich man who said; "I have everything to live with, and nothing to live for!"

Jim Gillaspie is minister at the Kentucky Avenue Church of Christ, Louisville, KY

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The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:10