“… a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”-
There is a sad story in ancient Israel of a king called Ahab who had a shameful uncontrolled desire for a vineyard next to his palace. Naboth the owner of the vineyard will not give in to King Ahab’s entireties to hand his vineyard over to him because the land was passed down to him and he also desired to pass it on to his children. King Ahab so much coveted Naboth’s vineyard that at Naboth’s denial, he went into his home vexed and sullen.
I wonder why king Ahab of Samaria would desperately want Naboth’s vineyard when he could possibly have vineyards anywhere in the land, after all, he was king. Yet with the devilish scheme of his wife Jezebel, they had Naboth killed and moved in swiftly to take over his vineyard.
Though this happened in ancient Israel, our own world is not too different from theirs; we also live in a possession crazy world built on the foundation of greed and man’s insatiable need.
Material possession is at the centre of everything; sadly our standards nowadays are far too high and materialistic and this extends far beyond individuals to whole communities and worse still nations. Every regular human mind sadly is very fond of material possessions that we evaluate people by the things they possess and the main thing in life for many has miserably become to acquire things. Someone once said “…you get all you can and can all you get” but recently I notice we don’t just ‘can’ what we’ve gotten but we also sit glued on the can!
It is not in itself bad to actually own things and I do not despise things in any way, in fact, it is natural because we live in a material world and depend to a great degree on things. Material things are so important that only those deprived of the basic material things for want of a few coins can explicitly tell. However, the danger light beeps when we are being possessed by material things and co-opted into the race of acquiring things at all cost and by all means. Though necessary, material things have a way of pushing other equally important (or even more) things into the rear and actually possessing the supposed owner. This happens when the purported owner cannot conceive of ever being without the things he owns, in so doing, these things take the place of the indispensable God. Like the story of a young man who because of the great possessions that he had, walked away in sorrow after Jesus suggested that he let go of his possessions and embrace a life of service with Him. This does not imply that Jesus always demands that we let go of all that we own but He does require that our heart is not set on anything we own.
Because even the smallest of coins when held close to the eye can blot out the sun! No matter how important basic material things are, they are not and should not be made all-important for the reason that “a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” and only greed would make you think otherwise. King Solomon of ancient Israel, one of the wisest man that ever lived said: “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.” In essence, he is saying; the more you get, the more you want; material possessions are never satisfying and the more you get the more you would see those material possessions are unreliable.
Contentment is the only antidote to this fruitless spiral cycle!
Material possessions are not the end but a means to the end. They are a plus and should never be the goal. What is the purpose of your existence? What is the reason for your being? Whatever it is the vision and passion that consumes your mind, the things you possess are meant to help you realize them. The right perspective is to see all that you now possess as an instrument to help you achieve your dreams and not as a trophy because you are not there yet, you are not at your goal yet no matter how much you now own. Again, the smallest coin would block out the sun completely when held close to the eye; things have to be put in their right places.
I am reminded of Paul the Apostle who wrote; “For I am certain that… things present, or things to come…will not be able to come between me and the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord!