Luke 3 And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.”.
Doris Powell, author of Stewards in the Household of God: a Resource for Holistic Year-Round Stewardship, offers a short reflect on possessions to help us in our discernment process.
Jesus, looking at him loved him and said, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” Mark 10:21
Jesus’ challenge to the rich ruler to give up all possessions has always been terrifying – because I’m rich. Not Warren Buffett rich, or Oprah Winfrey rich, but rich enough. I have an education, a job, a house, a mostly reliable car, food…enough. More than enough.
So, years ago when this was the Bible passage read in church, I worried about what our minister might say. After pointing out that Jesus would not be likely to ask the same thing of everyone, he went on to suggest an approach to faithfully deal with possessions.
Step 1: Go through your possessions, identify your excess, and give it away. “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” – Luke 3:11
Step 2: Learn to distinguish “needs” from “wants” lest you reacquire an excess.
Step 3: For those possessions you’ve kept, find ways to share them. (There’s joy in that adventure!)
It takes discipline to live a simpler lifestyle. I certainly have lapses, but the rewards are great. And I was finally freed to see what I had overlooked while fixated on my fear… the amazing invitation: “then come, follow me.”
I found these words challenging. How about you? Can we follow Jesus deeper and deeper into the mystery of what it means to bless and be blessed? What do you think? (Thanks to Rev. David Vanderlinde-Abernathy for sharing this.)