Today’s Truth

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Luke 6:38

Friend to Friend

I am on a mission. I have been thinking about and carefully planning every step of this mission for over a year. I have gathered the required supplies, notified all parties concerned, issued warnings, and marked strategic dates on my calendar.

It is “Go” time for Operation Purge!

I am systematically purging our home of every unnecessary, unused, or no longer wanted item. My husband is on board as well. Just to be safe, I said, “Honey, if you really, really want to keep something, it would be wise to put a yellow sticker on it, or it is outta here!” I think the gravity of Operation Purge began to dawn on him at that moment, but he solemnly nodded his head in agreement.

Operation Purge is going to be brutal! Why? One reason is that I am simply over “stuff.” We have moved and downsized three times in the last ten years, so I know how to eliminate and donate. Operation Purge goes far beyond anything I have done so far.

God has called me on the carpet and convicted me of the truth that if something is no longer serving a purpose in our lives, it could very well be meeting a need in the life of someone else.

Take my Coca-Cola dishes. At one point in my life, I was an avid collector of all things Coke. Part of my collection was an eight place setting of ceramic Coca Cola dishes. Our family used them for a couple of years until I got tired of them and moved on to something new. I carefully packed the dishes and stored them in our attic. We moved those very heavy boxes of dishes three times without using them. Never unpacked them. Just moved them.

During a spring-cleaning frenzy, I found the dishes and realized I did not want them anymore and certainly did not want to move them one more time. Neither did our son and daughter. So I gave them to our church thrift store that sells just about anything you could imagine to help fund our mission work in downtown Kansas City.

A few weeks later, a friend who works in one of our missions said, “I have a story to tell you about those Coca Cola dishes. We gave them to a woman who is a single mom. She has worked very hard to complete our program and get a job. When she was ready to move into her first apartment with her three children, we told her she could have the set of dishes you donated. She burst into tears and told us it was the first set of dishes she had ever owned in her life.”

My possessions are nothing more than resources loaned to me by God for me to disperse. They are not earned rewards or deserved pleasures. Every spiritual gift, every financial resource and each possession has been given to me by God as a way to serve others.

“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others” (I Peter 4:10, NIV).

I have said it before and I will say it again. I want to live my life with open hands, dusty feet, calloused knees, and rolled-up sleeves. I want to be a generous giver. I may not have much money, but I can give what I have.

Let Operation Purge begin!

Let’s Pray

Father, thank You for reminding me that what I have is temporary but that who I am is eternal. Give me a heart that loves to give. I pray that others would see You in the way I give myself away in service and that I would never count on earthly possessions for the peace and contentment only You can give.

In Jesus’ Name,


Now It Is Your Turn

  • Make a list of your ten most prized possessions.
  • If you lost them all, how would your life change in ways that really matter?
  • Set aside time today to review your list. Surrender each possession to God.
  • Give one of those possessions away this week as a secret gift.
  • Pray for an eternal perspective of earthly “things.”

More from the Girlfriends

I know many of you are facing some kind of storm today. God wants to meet you right where you are, friend! Check out my video, Strength for the Storm, to find out how.

Be sure to check out the FREE MP3s on Mary’s website and connect with Mary through email or on Facebook.

3 Responses to “Operation Purge”

  1. Kim says:

    Dear Mary,

    I loved your post today. I am where you are but I am dealing with my own stuff. I was raised by a Mom and Grandma that survived the depression. So I am a bit of a hoarder. My husband purges his stuff quite often. Where my problem lies is that he feels we should purge our unused items but not anything the kids have touched. He wants to keep every bit of clothing they wore (they are now 14 and 16) and every toy they played with. He is certain that they will want all this stuff when they have kids. I know it has to do with the fact that he has memories of things he had in childhood but came from some a broken and abusive home that nothing was kept. He never was able to pass these things down to his children. Our family was the opposite and threw nothing away. It all got packed away in the attic. I had to single handedly sort EVERYTHING 13 years ago when my Mom was diagnosed with cancer. I had to do this while taking care of 2 kids under 3 and my Mom. She lived in another state and my husband needed to work so I could be where I was needed. My sister wasn’t interested in helping, so it fell all to me. The point is I could not keep everything Mom saved for me. For one I did not have the room. Secondly I was looking into the future trying to guess what my kids might enjoy. In the end our likes are similar but they consider the stuff I have old and they are not interested. However, he he constantly says we need to save the stuff so he has the kids believing it also. I don’t want to hurt my husband’s feelings. He is a wonderful husband, father, friend. All the things a Godly man is supposed to be. To help declutter a bit I have begun packing the kids items away and labeling the boxes with each child’s name. Then when they are ready to leave their stuff is also. They can take it and sort it and do as they wish. My husband and I don’t have to be the wiser. It is not a perfect solution, but for now it is the only one I could come up with. Your article today did give me some perspective and peace of mind. Thank you. Sorry it posted earlier. I hit the wrong button.

  2. Rose says:

    I’m in the middle of my own operation purge, so your message could not have come at a better time. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the blessings that come in giving and simplify our lives.

  3. Jessica says:

    When I first read this, I was quick to say, oh I have no problems giving away things. I am not a selfish or greedy person. However, at the end the devotion asks what are your most cherished items. Screech! I hit the brakes fast. It is easy to give away the things you don’t want anymore, but to give away the best items that hold value is a challenge for me. I don’t want it to be any longer. The truth is, I only have these items because God blessed me with them. They are gifts from Him. His Word tells me to share these gifts, all of these gifts. That means, the vintage Chanel purse I found in a garage sale that is packed away and never used, needs to go. It means the closet full of blankets that I never use will be going. It means it is time to rid myself of items of merely earthly value. I needed this devotion. God knew that. Thank you.

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