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What is not given is lost

stuff 4d5f5f03
I can be a pack rat. I hate to throw things away. The one thing I’ve got going for me is that I hate shopping.   Still, stuff accumulates around me. The attic is full. The garage is full. My closet is full of journals & picture books & pants that don’t fit me so well. When we were…
By Seth Barnes
stuffI can be a pack rat. I hate to throw things away. The one thing I’ve got going for me is that I hate shopping.
 
Still, stuff accumulates around me. The attic is full. The garage is full. My closet is full of journals & picture books & pants that don’t fit me so well. When we were younger, we used to cruise garage sales. It was a kind of sport. And I’ve got some of that random stuff still cluttering my life.
 
I need to sharpen my divestment discipline. I need to give stuff away. What we don’t give away, we eventually lose.
 
It’s amazing how little I really need to be happy. This couch I’m sitting on is pretty awesome. And the computer I’m typing on makes my life so much more efficient.
 
But if I think about it, I’d be happier if I gave more. 
 
There are some old bikes under the porch that some Mexican immigrant in town would probably love. And we have bags of old clothes in the garage that need to go to the Good Will.
 
I’m blessed that Karen has a strong giving impulse. She loves to give people gifts. She’s always threatening to clean out my closet. She helps my pack rat self stay honest.
 
What I most clutch to myself are my time and my financial safety net. I want to have a St. Francis attitude, but I’ve got pretty good insurance policies and make regular contributions to a retirement account. At some point as I get older, I need to start emptying the bank account more.
 
I like what the old guy said when asked if his giving habits were changing as he aged. He said, “I’m hoping that the last check I write bounces.”
 
He got the principle of giving and the idea that “what is not given is lost.” It’s how Jesus wanted his followers to live. Yes, stewardship is essential too, but somehow we’ve turned stewardship into a justification for not giving. Better to embrace the fact that we can’t take it with us and begin divesting now.
 
How do you do at the divestment discipline? What are you hanging onto that you need to give away?
 
I want to be known as a giver – how about you? What needs to change today to move in that direction?

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