[b]Things, Things, Things[/b]
[i]by Samuel Chadwick[/i]
Luke 12:15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
I have ceased to wonder that Jesus Christ was crucified. For many years it was impossible to imagine how men could so misunderstand and hate Him . But a fuller understanding of His teaching and wider knowledge of the world have led me to the conclusion that there is only one end to a ministry like His and that is a Cross.
There are woes enough in these two chapters to account for all that happened. He unmasked iniquity where it was least suspected, and attacked the vices of the wealthy and powerful in terms of liquid fire;
He shocked and angered the most religious people of his time; called them whited sepulchers, and defied their traditions; He hurled woe upon woe in all directions. His own friends understood Him but little better than His enemies.
A man, perhaps a follower, has been wronged by his brother, and appeals to this preacher of righteousness to secure him his rights. Instead, He rebukes the petitioner, and asks, Who made Me a judge or a divider over you? Disappointment was inevitable. To preach sternly and then refuse the responsibility of practical application to particular cases always brings provocation.
The explanation of His attitude is plain enough now. He came to establish a world-wide spiritual kingdom. He laid down principles that are universal, not precepts which were local. He sought to correct the dispositions of men rather than to secure their rights. He would destroy wrong, not by direct attacks upon vice, but by saving the sinner. That is His method. A new world through a renewed humanity. So here, instead of interfering in the quarrel, He reads the motive behind the appeal, and warns against covetousness. He detects the undue eagerness to gain possessions, and corrects the false estimate of the things of this world. And in so doing incidentally states one of the profoundest truths concerning the true philosophy of life. A mans life consisteth not in the abundance of things which he possesseth.
To the world things are everything. It longs for them, works for them, fights for them, lies for them, lives for them. Its one ambition is to possess abundance of things. To secure them it will pay any price, endure any hardship, suffer any obloquy, sacrifice any thing. Its homage and its envy are reserved for those who have the most things. It never troubles about how they got them, nor what they do with them, it is enough that they have won for themselves piles of things!
The cry of the world is for things. Things, things; always more things. This is a purely pagan view of life. After these things do the heathen seek. Pagan philosophy is based upon the supposed supremacy of things. Heathen religions find their heaven in the abundance of things. And, alas, most of us are pure pagan. We live for the things. We toil and strive for the possession of things. Our only idea of heaven is a place where we shall have undreamed abundance of glorified things. We call ourselves Christian, but our lives are heathen.
Christs teaching concerning things declares that true life does not depend upon things at all. Indeed the only way into life is by the renunciation of things. We must forsake them, sacrifice them, die to them if we would live. Not only He, but all the worlds greatest have proved that life is not measured by the possession of the worlds things. The greatest of all had not where to lay His head. Things are an encumbrance to the man who would rise.
He who wins the world loses his soul. To live for things is to die to all that is spiritual and divine. Life is being, not having. It is what a man is, not what he has that really matters. What you have will perish, what you are abides forever. Seek not things. They perish, they corrupt, they pass away. Seek to BE manly, honest, brave and good. Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you. Seek God first, always first. In Him only is the true life.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon