Just a little more and that will be enough – but it never is. That’s the biggest problem with acquiring the things this world has to offer. A new car, a big home, and a large bank account all seem great but there is always a newer car, bigger home and larger bank account than yours. Another odd reality about new is it doesn’t stay that way long. I’ve noticed in my life that the more stuff I have the more stuff I have to take care of which sometimes robs me of more important things like spending time with my family and doing God’s will. A bigger yard is nice but it requires more time and bigger equipment to maintain. The more house you have the more you have to clean, maintain, and pay for. More stuff never brings more fulfillment and satisfaction.
I have a twenty year old boat that keeps on draining my wallet. Just when I think one thing is repaired on it another thing breaks. I refuse to pay for a new boat and waste money that is dedicated to the church, savings, and other ministries my family gives towards and I’m sure not going to go in debt for a new boat because the Bible says the borrower is slave to the lender (Proverbs 22:7). However with all the repairs I’ve done over the years, I’ve almost acquired a new boat one piece at a time! Did you know boat stands for “Bust Out Another Thousand”? All kidding aside, I wonder sometimes if it is really worth owning one in the grand scheme of eternity? While I’ve honestly enjoyed countless hours on the lake with my wife, kids, family, and friends I’ve acquired headaches, bills, and countless issues trying to make the boat stay afloat. First world problems, huh?
Now let’s get something straight. I’m not against new things and earning money. I buy new things and earn money with the job I work hard at. I believe a man must work if he wants to eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10). A good husband and father works hard to provide for those in his own household so not to have denied the faith and become worse than an unbeliever (1 Timothy 5:8). I want to give good gifts to my children (Matthew 7:11) and leave an inheritance to them (Proverbs 13:22). I believe a laborer is worthy of his wages (1 Timothy 5:18). In fact the Bible says earning money and wealth are a blessing if done with the right motive and spent wisely. Deuteronomy 8:18 says the Lord gives us the ability to make wealth. But let’s get all this in the right eternal Kingdom perspective. Having money and stuff isn’t our enemy, but worshiping them is. 1 Timothy 6:10 says the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Money itself isn’t evil and possessing it and material things isn’t either unless they are what you live for and love. That’s when it becomes idolatry. Remember the words of Jesus when He said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21). Whatever you treasure has your heart. Whatever you spend your time, talents, and treasure on proves what you love and worship. Question is what has your heart?
If there’s one thing I have learned in this life it’s that the most important things in life aren’t things. I think it’s ok to buy a boat, house, car or whatever else in this life you can reasonably afford. Be a good steward of your finances and give generously to the concerns of Jesus and His Word. Be consumed with the causes of Christ and know His purpose for your life. Just don’t let possessions possess you.
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.