The Stuff and Soul Connection By Wes Willmer and Micah Hogan
There’s a Critical Connection Between Stuff and Soul
Did you ever think there was a connection between the stuff in your life and your eternal soul? Have you ever wondered why the Bible has more verses on possessions than on any other topic? Have you ever wondered what it means to be faithful and obey God when it comes to stuff? Do you think God knew this would be a difficult task for us? Could the connection between stuff and your soul be one of the most important issues for us to master in our Christian life?
So Much Stuff
Most of us our lives are spent swimming in stuff— you could say we are “stuffocated”! Stuff comprises all the material resources around us, most specifically money and possessions. But here’s the thing: God owns it all. It is not ours. The things that surround you every day— from your house to your car to the pennies in your couch cushions— belong to Him. In Psalm 24:1 the Psalmist declares:
“The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein.”
God is the Lord of all and He owns it all. Everything we have is really just on loan to us; “our” things aren’t really ours at all, they are God’s.
Entrusted by God
The reason God entrusts us with His things in this world is so that we can be “faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Pet. 4:10). A steward is someone who uses his or her master’s things in the master’s place to do the master’s work. When Jesus ascended into heaven, He left His followers with the critical responsibility to be stewards of His resources in order to do His work. Stewarding His possessions for His glory is part of what it means to be His followers.
This means that every purchase, every allocation of funds, happens coram Deo, before God, and we will have to render an account for how we have used our Master’s things. Every possession comes with a question: “how will you use me?” One day we will be judged for our consumption of stuff, and will have to render an account to God. However, if we steward God’s stuff according to by His Spirit and according to His will, we will receive heavenly rewards. Keeping this heavenly vision before us radically shifts our priority from what we care about to what God cares about. As a result of mastering this connection of stuff and soul, our soul matures as we become rich toward God and our generosity increases.
This biblical vision for the use of our possessions/stuff has largely been lost in the modern world. Rather than being disciples of Christ, we are followers of Mammon. We are saturated in a culture of materialism that takes no thought for God’s ownership, our responsibility, and the rewards of eternity. Instead, we are encouraged to accumulate more and more stuff in order to make us happy. How rarely we take time to cultivate gratitude for God’s generosity toward us and to practice our own! Believers need a wake-up call regarding the commitments being a disciple of Christ has on your stuff.
The Ultimate Treasure
Take a look around you. Take note of the things you see. None of them will be with you in eternity. You will be with Jesus in eternity. Cling to Him, make Him your treasure. Allow Him to transform your perspective and the way you interact with stuff on a day-to-day basis. As the hymn says,
“And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”
Wes Willmer, Ph.D. CCNL is the principal of the Wes Willmer Group. He has served ministries in their fundraising efforts for over five decades. Wes also serves on the Christian Leadership Alliance Advisory Council.
Micah Hogan is a recent graduate of the Torrey Honors Institute at Biola University pursuing his Masters of Divinity from Nashotah House Theological Seminary as an aspirant for holy orders in the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). He is the theology editor at The PQ Review, and is primarily interested in the ways that desire, nature, and grace intersect in the person of Jesus Christ..
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