Sunday, March 06, 2011

I Own Nothing

Pride of ownership is something almost everybody in my generation grew up learning about. Owning your first bicycle that wasn't a hand me down. Owning first car, house, whatever - we were taught to be proud.
A few days ago I picked up a copy the annual Forbes Magazine that reports on the richest 400 people in the USA - this group of people is pretty unique in that the club that they belong to requires a net worth of at least one billion US dollars. That amount of money is just about impossible for me to imagine. It is one thousand times one million dollars. WOW. my guess is that there is a lot of pride of ownership among these 400 people and their families.
Near the end of the magazine there was about 4 pages dedicated to the memory of people that were removed from the list because they were no longer part of the living. Made me think - mostly a dangerous thing.
My thoughts were actually about how some of the rich might have felt compelled to protect their wealth and resources - for whatever reason, people generally feel compelled to do everything they can to protect what they have worked hard for - I mean it is only natural to fight for what is rightfully your own. Then, at the end of the day - none of it really matters because every one of us meets the very same end - although the vast majority of us never get our death notice in Forbes 400.
So, even though I am not a Bible expert, I can read and it is pretty clear that choosing to be a follower means that our entire attitude about the ownership of stuff and our attitude toward it should have changed or should be changing. The story of the rich young ruler tells it all. The story of the brand new believers in Acts tells about people that didn't consider anything they had as their own - if anyone needed help, the believers provided. They sold land, things, whatever needed to share. Pride of ownership gave over to humble serventhood.
What if we decide that we will actually live in a way that reflects these attitudes? Instead of claiming our price of ownership, we look for the everpresent opportunity to share everything we have. Trusting Jesus when he said that we don't have anything to worry about. He takes care of the birds of the are and cares for us so much more than that.
How much of our burden of the world would be released if we really do have the attitude "I Own Nothing". That is what Jesus himself said isn't it? Then Paul later told all of us, you should all have the same attitude as that of Jesus Christ.
Give it up and Gain everything.

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