A few months ago I was walking into one of the local stores, no mask of course, I heard a woman who was standing outside looking at some of the sale items say, “I don’t need it, and I don’t know what I would do with it, but it’s on sale.” I happened to end up in line behind her at the checkout counter, and she actually purchased the item.
The old sayings are true, “what we own eventually begins to own us,” and “sometimes it’s better to want something than to have it.” I believe that most people do not realize that all they own someday will eventually be removed from them, I think the concept of death is indeed within them, for “He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.” (Eccl. 3:11) But the emotional attachments to items overpowers these truths, especially when it involves family heirlooms. It is as if owning something that once belonged to someone we loved who is now gone keeps us closer to them, keeps a part of us closer to them and the memories we have of them.
These items, these memories do one thing only, they keep us in the past, a place that we can in all reality do as much with as the future, a place I fear many who claim Christ as Lord live in. Living in the past, even in a small part, keeps us from growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord, (2 Peter 3:18) it breeds stagnation, and is almost impossible to remove ourselves from it until the past is put where it needs to be, in the past.
Any emotional attachment to anything of this world will hinder our walk with Christ, it will cause us to live in and for the world, it will take our eyes off of eternity, it will cause us to stumble, there are no exceptions. Your grandmother’s locket, or that lock of hair from the child you lost will not be adorning your home in heaven, and does little more than divert your attention from what you should be doing, living for Christ, right here, right now.
Anything we believe we own all belongs to God, if it was not for His mercy, you would own none of them, and so it stands that the item has taken a place in our emotional context toward what rightly belongs to the One who gave these things to us in the first place. “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator.” (Romans 1:25)
Now, you may be saying that you do not bow down to these things, it is simply nothing more than a physical item, something you can touch that reminds you of that favorite dog you once had, no different than a photograph of your long dead beloved aunt. So then, throw it away. Keep the memory, lose the item. Can’t do it can you, and you just gave yourself a thousand reasons why you shouldn’t have to. Here is the point of all this, we should own nothing that we cannot willingly leave at anytime we are told to by the Lord, we should be able and willing to lose all we have at a moment’s notice, and still realize in truth with joy that we still have Christ.
Easy to say, difficult to do, unless you plan on getting up from your chair, laying aside this letter, going over to the drawer you keep that memory in, and throwing it in the trash bin without a second thought.
I have performed this task, many times in the past, and each time I have done so for the glory of God, I have been blessed by Him above more than I can tell you here. How simple is it, “And him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.” (Luke 6:29) All the way to “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (Rev. 12:11) I am not saying that you must do these things, I am simply saying that those who have been crucified with Christ own all that they need to own, Jesus Christ, what you do with these physical remnants of your past is, as they say, between you and God, but if even one small item finds its way into your heart, the place where Christ alone is to dwell, then He may take it from you, and then you will not have to be concerned with losing it anymore.