Ownership…

Today at church, the sermon was on Acts 4:  31-37.

31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.

One of the main points was on ownership and the Biblical understanding that everything is God’s.    The pastor had us make a list of all the things we own (or as many as we could write down in about 2-3 minutes).  He then asked what pronoun would go in front of each of those items.  The obvious answer is “my”.  Then he had us write “God’s” in front of all those possessions and asked two good questions:

  1. What items on the list were hard for you to write “God’s” in front of?
  2. How does thinking about your possessions as “God’s” change your perspective on them?
For me,  the hardest thing to write “God’s” in front of was my bikes (if you know me, this is the obvious answer).  What was more interesting to me, though, was my thought process after question 2.  My gut reaction was that I no longer have to worry about “stuff” when I understand it is God’s.  I tend to worry a bit about my cars and my house (don’t ask me about sump pumps and building houses in clay – you won’t have time for the response).  I think about what would happen if the transmission goes out, or the water heater rusts through… or whatever.  I’ll find some “big” thing to worry about, and often…it’s connected to my bigger possessions.  But if those are God’s… well then I’ll do my best to take care of them, but ultimately it’s out of my control.
 This idea of God’s ownership isn’t new to me,  but the second question just framed it different in a way that made me think:  “Seriously… why worry about this stuff.  It’s a gift from God.  It’s not even yours.  Let it go.”

 

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