“When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” Matthew 19:22
Is it wrong to have nice things? Is being wealthy bad? Is it a sin to own stuff? The answer to all of these questions is NO! Jesus never taught us to live as paupers. What Jesus’ taught was to not be owned by “stuff”. Just as God gave Adam and Eve the entire Garden of Eden to enjoy with one exception, I believe we are to enjoy the things in this life, with one exception, covetousness.
To covet is to desire something without due regard for the rights of others. When we covet we develop tunnel vision and pursue the object of our desire at the expense of others, even our own well-being. The antidote to coveting is giving.
In Matthew 19 Jesus meets with an enthusiastic young man who was wealthy. By human standards he was considered blessed and a very good man. Wealth is not always a sign of blessing. The true definition of a blessed man/woman is the ability to give. God does not bless us so that we can accumulate more stuff. God blesses us so that we will bless others.
“11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way…” 2 Corinthians 9:11
Is it wrong to save for retirement? Is it wrong to set aside money in a savings account? Is it wrong to invest our money? Of course not! These are all wise things to do. However our budget should never constrict us from giving tithes, offerings and to the needs of others. God will give us what we need and even more than we need so that we can be generous.
When Jesus asked the young man in Matthew 19 to “sell what you possess and give to the poor,” the man walked away very sad because he had “great possessions.” How can a wealthy person serve God? By developing the attitude of giving.
God increases our opportunities and blessings in life in order to see how we will steward those moments. Our response determines our “harvest” of greater blessing and opportunities.
Refuse to be owned by your wealth or possessions and learn to give in proportion to God’s blessing in your life. Be the most generous person you can be instep with God’s generosity towards you.