Friday, March 10, 2017

Too Much Junk!

Matthew 6:19-21 - Don’t collect for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But collect for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

After 19 years of starting churches in rural areas in Vermont, my wife and I relocated to Connecticut to plant churches around the urban areas in that state. As part of the preparations for the move, we decided to downsize the amount of stuff we owned. This took a lot of effort because our home in Vermont was an old farmhouse built around 1860. It had large rooms and lots of nooks and crannies to put stuff. We spent countless hours cleaning out closets, garages, attic space and bookshelves. It seems like every time thought we were done, we found one more corner that we had not sorted yet.

We sold some of the stuff. A lot of it we gave away to people in our church, to the Salvation Army, to a family that lost their home to a fire, and to a church yard sale that raised money to help needy children. After getting rid of so much, we still had a lot of stuff to move!

Somewhere in the process of cleaning, sorting, packing and distributing all this stuff it occurred to me how rich Americans are. Only in America do we have clothes stored in totes and boxes because we cannot wear them all. Only in America do we have a set of dishes that we only use at Christmas and another set we only use when guests come for dinner. Only in America do we have chairs, tables, beds and decorative items that we have not used in months, or even years, which serve no real purpose other than to impress guests a few times a year. Who really needs that many clothes or dishes or beds or chairs or tables?

This effort to downsize our lives gave us opportunity to think through the consumerism that so grips our nation. It helped us consider how we could use our excess to help those around us and expand God’s Kingdom instead of just accumulating it in extra rooms. Perhaps we need to clean more than our physical closets and attics? Perhaps it is time to clean our hearts from the attitude the drives us to want more and more and more. When we clean up our emotional and spiritual closets and attics, the physical ones become much easier to deal with.

Lord, help us to focus on what is really important in life instead of becoming consumed with accumulating stuff. Amen.


This devotional is from the book “Heavenly Mundane” by Dr. Terry W. Dorsett. Dr. Dorsett has been a pastor, church planter, denominational leader and author in New England for more than 20 years. He is a happy husband, a proud father and adoring grandfather. He is a cancer survivor and believes that God works powerfully through times of suffering. He writes extensively and you can find all of his books at:

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