Not only are my possessions not bringing happiness into my life; even worse, they are actually distracting me from the things that do!
Excessive possessions are not making us happy. Even worse, they are taking us away from the things that do. Once we let go of the things that don’t matter, we are free to pursue all the things that really do matter.
Don’t own so much clutter that you will be relieved to see your house catch fire.
William T. Cavanaugh
Things are not ends in themselves; they are means to greater attachment to others. . . . But to have a good relationship with others, it is necessary to have a proper relationship with things.
No change of job, no increased income, no new home, no new electronic device, or no new spouse is going to make things better inside of you.
Neil Cummings and Marysia Lewandowska
It is not objects that people really desire, but their lush coating of images and dreams. . . . It is never the object which is consumed—instead it is the relationship between us and the object of desire.
There is no object of desire quite like a house. Few things . . . are capable of eliciting such urgent, even painful, yearning.
Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.
The drive to possess is an engine for hurry.
Taken from An Unhurried Life: Following Jesus’ Rhythms of Work and Rest by Alan Fadling Copyright (c) 2013 by Alan Fadling. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com
We really must understand that the lust for affluence in contemporary society is psychotic. It is psychotic because it has completely lost touch with reality. We crave things we neither need nor enjoy. ‘We buy things we do not want to impress people we do not like.’ …It is time to awaken to the fact that conformity to a sick society is to be sick.
Great needs grow from great possessions.
Thomas Á Kempis
Let temporal things serve your use, but the eternal be the object of your desire.
They are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.
I have held many things in my hands and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.
My suspicion is that we have simply lost our way. I suspect that our material longings are more largely formed by our culture than by the Christ and that our spending habits do not differ radically from those who have no allegiance or loyalty to Jesus.
For all our time and attention, no matter how carefully we curate our stuff or how much we might enjoy ourselves along the way, we’re all merely stocking and staging someone else’s opportunity for bargain prices.
We care more for our possessions with which we hope to make our way in the world than with our thoughts and dreams which tell us who we are in the world.
There was a period when I believed stuff meant something. I thought that if you had matching side chairs and a sofa that harmonized and some beautiful lamps to light them you would have a home, that elegance signaled happiness.
Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t want to impress people they don’t like.
The common expression that describes such a value system as “the pursuit of the almighty dollar” is soundly based in the recognition that the exaltation of possessions to the level of ultimacy is the end of a religious quest, one that seeks and ascribes ultimate meaning. Like all idolatries, it finds ultimate meaning in an aspect of the creation rather than in the Creator. And like all idolatries it finds outlet in destructive pathologies that wreck human lives.
If you own something you cannot give away, then you don’t own it, it owns you.
Nothing that is God’s is obtainable by money.
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