What is important to you?

Really?  What are the things that you place value on? Your house?  Your car?  Your career?  Your clothes?

What are the things that you think that you just couldn’t live without?  Honestly stop and ask yourself that question. 

 The Bible tells us:

                         “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”  Matthew 6:21

Is your treasure with earthly things?   

I have struggled the last year with allowing God to break me from the deceit and ungodliness of materialism and consumerism.  Sometimes I start to get sucked back into it and when that happens God smacks me on the forehead and tells me to wake up! 

Over the last few months Aaron and I have discussed and decided on a price range for our new home.  It was a modest little number that was way less than what our current home now costs.  We decided that if our new home is smaller that we would be okay with that.  Then I started thinking, “Well ya know–if we go up just another $10,000 then we could have a much nicer, bigger home.”  If I work an extra day a week then we could really have a nicer home.  If this . . . if that . . .  Who am I trying to impress?  Why do I feel the need to meet everyone else’s standards?   

Last night I was reading Heather Whittaker’s blog last night and came across this video that she had posted.  I cautiously clicked play.  She warned her readers that it would challenge them, that it would move them.  So I clicked on it.  Thanks God for the smack in the forehead.  Please watch this.  It will break your heart.  But you will be moved and hopefully for the better.  

 I cried and cried watching this.  Aaron and I watched it together and he said, “And to think that we are worried about what house we are going to buy.”  Did you catch what the cameraman/narrator said?  He mentioned that most organized religions are more concerned with devoting time and energy into defending dogma than they are with the needs of the world.  There are people starving in this world.  Let that sink in.  STARVING. Starving for food and starving for hope.  And we sit here in our Americas churches and we argue about petty things that have no significance for eternity.  What is wrong with us?  It’s so easy to shield our eyes from this and forget about it.

Lord, please keep my eyes open.  Help me to remember what is important.  Help me to remember that you are not impressed by our ability to ‘defend dogma’ or our ability to raise money and build huge buildings and temples.  You are not impressed by our big houses, our cars, our fancy clothes or our careers.  You want us to love others like you love us.  Unconditionally.  Regardless of race, of social status, of cleanliness.  You frown on materialism and consumerism and you smile when we give of ourselves to help others.  When we stretch ourselves beyond our means to show love and to show YOU to others.  Forgive me for selfishness.  For coveting.  For not making YOU first and for making things and stuff first. 

May we all remember that in 60 years, 70 years, 100 years none of this is going to matter.  Our houses will be lived in by someone else.  Our cars will long have been dumped at the junk pile.  The things that we cherish so much will no longer exist.  And all that will matter is what we did with our time on earth.  Is that cliche?  Sure.  But it is truth.  Make your life matter.  Make your life about serving others and it will matter in eternity. 




4 Responses to “What is important to you?”

  1. 1 Alison January 28, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    Good good post! Echoes so much of the same thoughts I’ve been having lately. I’ve especially struggled in wanting THINGS for my girls (the perfect girly room, cute clothes, trips to fun places) and I occasionally have to remind myself that they already have so so so much! That video was very moving. It was also very timely that you posted b/c Dean is doing a series on service and seeing Jesus in the hurting around us and widows/orphans, etc…so this may be shown to a few college students in the next few weeks. Thanks Laura.

  2. 2 Melissa January 28, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    Great insights there. We really are a society of “gimme more” people. I struggle with this too…I need a bigger house for when we have children, a bigger car, etc. What I really need is to stop thinking about earthly things and to start putting God and others first. I have really been working on that this year. I want to be a better servant and give of myself, my time, etc. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. 3 Heather January 30, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Awesome post, thanks for the wake up call. I have a great aunt who helped to start a mission in Tanzania. It’s been on my heart to commit to sponsering a child through “City Of Hope,” the mission she’s involved with. I keep coming up with excuses. Part of it is the uncertain times we live in and when I make a commitment, I want to keep it. Why why not go together with another family and sponser a child? If we all do what we can, we will make a difference.

    And besides, we all have WAY TOO MUCH STUFF. Right now, my “treasures” are in piles all over and overwhelming me. Hmm…Treasures or BURDENS???

  4. 4 lsaufley January 30, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    @Heather–I know what you mean about the “treasures” or burdens! We have packed up probably 1/3 of our things and I have hardly missed any of it (except my scrapbooking stuff!). Makes me wonder if we need to seriously downsize our stuff once we move!

    I’ve been looking into sponsoring a child too. In fact I searched through Compassion International the other night. I’d love to have a child that Annagrace can send and receive letters from. And I’d love to find an orphan–most of the kids on CI are not orphans. And I’d really love to adopt one of these precious children one day. Guess we’ll see if that is in God’s plan one day.

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January 2009

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