Thursday, August 17, 2006

Keep Your Stuff To Yourself

Acts 2:42-47 (NIV)

They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

One of the passages of scripture we focused on during our staff retreat was Acts 2. I learned a lot from this passage, but one thing that was brought out was the community aspect of this passage. Think of it this way...what would our town be like if everyone shared community together? From celebrations to meals to sharing resources - imagine the possibilites of that type of community. Some may call this a "wild dream" or a farce-like Utopia, but I really believe that in some ways we can move towards this type of community, and the church could and should be the driving force behind such a movement. If Jesus shows up in a community and nothing changes, then we have a problem right? That's a critical challenge for the local church.

Maybe part of the reason we don't like community is because we're all too partial to our stuff. I'll admit it now - I have "stuffitis." I pack, pile, stuff, rearrange, horde, hide and too many other words to describe my "stuff." I used to be absolutely insane about this, but I have begun to learn an important lesson. Jesus asked us to share life in community. He didn't say, "Go out among everyone, but keep your own stuff to yourself." But that's exactly what so many of us do. With our possessions, our time, our talents, our money.

I love how a great friend of mine, John, describes the current state of his house:
Soooo, the next problem became the "STUFF"!!!!!! What to do with it???????? Me? I would throw all of this crap that we have collected, purchased, been given.......throw it all away. "We might need that sometime" the phrase that I hear daily!! feelings are that if we haven't really put the item to use for the last 6-12 months.....GET RID OF IT!!!! But......I'm fighting a losing battle.......ugh!!!! And so, we move the "STUFF" into a new area of the be moved again at a later date!!
Does this sound familiar?? What happens when we all die (and we will) and our "stuff" becomes someone else's or worse yet, ends up in the trash? Why not part with it now and learn to live on only what we really need? Do I really need 5 computer monitors?

My challenge to you is to take a look around your house this week and REALLY think about what it would be like if you shared your stuff in community with others. Would that change the way others live? What would they think about you? How would it change YOUR outlook?

Jesus was constantly on the move, and in fact, there is very little written about His belongings or His house or the like. To me that's exactly how He wanted to live - always in community with His Father and with others. So call me crazy - but if Jesus is going to show up, we have to prepare the way.


John said...

I had no idea that I would be quoted about my "STUFF"!! Hahaha....but, that is not a problem with problem is still all of the "STUFF"! At least I know you are still reading my posts.....since we don't have coffee/lunch any more...hmmmmm........

Jo said...

I to have suffered from stuffitis. Thankfully God has taught me that stuff is not where it is at. Not only should we share our possessions but we also must share ourselves. Lives will change when we let God share what he has given us with others, whether it be our stuff or ourselves.