2/17/2021 – Pastor Brian’s Blog –
My two youngest children grew up on Veggie Tales, and I must admit that I grew to like some of those characters too. Before you become too pious, I would guess that if you have children the age of mine, you know a bit about Veggie Tales as well! One of the songs we used to sing was “Where is my hairbrush?” I would sing it in Walmart when my kids were with me, and… well I think I will leave that thought for another blog!!
Do you remember Madame Blueberry, the resident champion of materialism, who just loved shopping at the “Stuff-Mart?” Her problem was that her tree house soon became so full of stuff from “Stuff-Mart” that the tree collapses under the weight of it all.
Do you know anyone like that? I am just amazed how wealthy Judy’s uncle became by renting storage units to people that had more “stuff” than their house and garage could hold. Making monthly payments for stuff they did not need and often would not use for years. Madame Blueberry’s kind of stuff!!
If we are not careful we can find ourselves in a similar situation. I am not sure that it is a conscious decision, but because of getting more “stuff,” too often I watch as people will place more importance on their stuff, than their spouse and children. To pay for “stuff” many parents both work, so the children are put into childcare, after school programs, given to coaches, grandparents or are allowed to go home to an empty house. Often children spend more time with other people raising them, than their own parents. Parents arrive home and after giving their best at work, often find it very difficult to give their best to their spouse and / or children.
Credit is so easy to get. I get credit card applications literally every week. Get a new credit card or an increase in your credit line, and without thinking, often it results in more debt! Someone once said that debt is a vicious and endless circle…
Not the best kind of investment, because uncontrolled debt will control you. Often it keeps people in bondage so they are unable to do what they want with their family, with friends, or even with their church.
Please understand that I am not against stuff, Judy and I have stuff, we enjoy stuff, we loving giving stuff to our children, to our friends and to those in need. Even God says stuff is not always bad…
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 1 Timothy 6:17
It isn’t bad to invest in stuff, as long as the stuff doesn’t own you. There are different kinds of investments. Jesus said the best investment is investing in things that last forever…
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.Matthew 6:19-20
Stuff comes and goes. Stuff is always getting replaced and improved. Stuff over time will wear out, and stuff often leaves us empty. That is why Best Buy, Amazon, and Apple stores are so successful because people are constantly needing to replace their stuff because the old stuff leaves them void of contentment.
As Christians we need to make sure that hollow prosperity doesn’t dry up the supply line for eternity. Thousands of missionaries retire every year, yet often their replacements are struggling to get support to go to replace them. Bible Colleges are closing because parents are telling their children that they need to go to a “real college” and get a good paying job, as other countries are not being reached with the gospel. Churches are closing often because Christians have become too busy to be involved, and financially strapped to help with the needs.
For some it will take time to “right the ship” but you never will if you do not make a decision to do so. There are financial helps available, there are pastors and Christian counselors that will help, but we must determine in our hearts that we want to make more than just good investments, we want to make the best investments. No matter what others may say, no matter what the world says, eternal investments outlast every other kind of investment, because they last forever.
Remember Madame Blueberry? Don’t be like her and allow your stuff to bury you. If you are not sure where your heart is, Jesus said just look at where you are making your biggest investments…
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.Matthew 6:21
So my advice today: check on your investments and then try to avoid Stuff-Mart!!