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Today’s Truth

Sell your possessions and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Luke 12:33-34

Friend to Friend

When I was a young adult, I would often tell myself, “When I become really successful, I will give away so much money! I will support orphans and the needy. I need to work hard so that in my later years, I can do a lot of good in the world and for God’s kingdom.”

At the same time, I was in a constant battle: me verses my stuff. My home was stuffed to the brim with things I bought and used (or not). I would try and try to declutter, but everything in my house, to me, was completely essential. Maybe not right now; I couldn’t get rid of anything that I might need, someday. It seemed wasteful to have bought the heart-shaped muffin pan, use it once, and then give it away. (What if, five years later, I had another child who wanted little heart shaped cakes for Valentines day?) My entire house was brimming with “what ifs.”

So as my house kept bursting at the seams, my plans I had to care for the poor never magically happened. I knew the next step was to earn more money so I could serve the poor and buy a bigger house so that we weren’t always so crowded, and I could concentrate on loving others well. Right? Isn’t this what the world tells us?

All of this was faulty, future thinking. Instead of doing what I could, in the moment, to serve those right in front of me, I kept saying “someday.”

About my clutter.

About my helping the poor.

And at the root of this future, faulty thinking was fear.

When it came to clutter, “What if I need it someday?” is the cry of the fearful heart. Because for the fearful heart, what we once decided would be “enough” to start helping the poor, “enough” to have in our homes, will never be enough.

The only way we will have enough in our homes, enough to help those who need the help, is to get to the place where we trust the God who has already given us so much.

It took me well into my forties to believe — really believe — that I could get rid of the “extra” in my house, the “just in case” in my house, without fear. Have I given away a few things I needed again? Occasionally. In those instances, I’ve had the peace of knowing that my extra was being used by someone else who needed it, and I could, if I really needed it, buy or borrow those items again.

But the most exciting part of this journey has been the ability to help people — not “someday” but right now.

Instead of selling our couch that was still in wonderful shape and people had offered to buy from us, we were able to give it to a single mom who just moved to our community.

And when our friend was raising funds for clean water in Africa, I had a piece of jewelry (given to me by someone who was no longer in my life) that I was able to sell for money to help build a well.

I would rather carry these acts in my heart than extra stuff in my house.

Don’t let your abundance be what you put your trust in. Instead trust your abundance to God.

Prayer

Heavenly Father help me remember that my only security, ever, is found in You.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Is there something in your home that you can give away – or even sell – to support someone (a friend, a ministry) in need?

More from the Girlfriends

Want to learn more about how to have more life and less clutter? Be sure to check out Kathi’s book, Clutter Free.

6 Responses to “Facing the Future or Fearing It?”

  1. Carole says:

    Thank you for this post.
    I’m just newly retired, and this is my goal; to unload!
    I’ve already, given kitchen items/appliances to help a local food pantry, because this organization feeds folks everyday.
    And, I do believe you personal “spirit” becomes lighter by getting rid of all the things, we don’t need.
    Helping others; that’s what we are here for!

  2. Cathy says:

    Thanks for the inspiration, I really need to get rid of the clutter. I am a widow and have been hanging on of stuff for years. I need to face my fears. Thank you

  3. Kathy says:

    Thanks for sharing. I am always fearful of money – we work and live within our means (just) but always worry. Sometimes though I hear the Holy Spirit telling me to help out a family member, friend, community member with their money and when I listen to that small voice I am always blessed with all the money I may need.

  4. Kathi Lipp says:

    Carole – I love your attitude! YES!!!

  5. Kathi says:

    Yes – it is a scary first step. Proud of you for considering it!

  6. Janet says:

    Wow, what a coincidence. A co-worker and I were speaking about this very topic today. I had stated that I had kitchen stuff that I wasn’t currently using but didn’t want to get rid of because I may need it down the road and then I read this. Do you think the Lord wants to get my attention, if so, it has.

    Thank you.

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