19 Apr Saying No to Excess
Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” There’s no better way to tell where you heart is that to open your front door and see all your stuff.
Listen to the Audio:
Last week, we talked about letting go of negative thoughts. Last week’s podcast episode (and blog post) was so influential in how I changed the way I live my life. If you haven’t yet, make sure that you listen or read it and put it into practice.
In today’s post, I want to talk about saying no to excess.
In Matthew 6:21, it says, “Where your treasure is there will you heart be also.”
Possessions can put us at risk of loving the world. Anytime that you are spending your money on things, that is where your treasure it. Any time you invest money into something, a little piece of your heart goes with it.
Paying for Your Time
A great resource for moms is Allie Casazza. She is an amazing Christian woman who teachers moms how to have less for the sake of enjoying more in their lives. She has a great podcast. She talks a lot about minimalism, but she has the heart of Christ behind all of her teachings. Please consider checking her out.
One of the things I hear often in her podcasts are, “When you pay for things, you’re not just paying with your money. You’re also paying with your time.”
When we let go of stuff, we’re stopping the bleeding of the payment. We’re taking a stand and saying we will no longer let this piece of property or possession have a hold on us, taking up our valuable time.
Don’t Love Things
We don’t want to love the things of the world.
1 John 2:15-17 says, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him for all that is in the world, the desires of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and pride in possessions is not from the Father, nit it is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”
What does that mean, exactly?
There’s nothing wrong with having stuff. I have a home, things in my home, clothes in my closet, etc. It’s when those things start to take precedence in our lives that we start to run the risk of loving the world.
These verses in 1 John warn us against the love of the world and break it down into three different sections.
What are Desires of the Flesh?
The first is the desires of the flesh or sinful desires. These cloud our judgement and destroy our value systems.
Consider the idea that anytime you make a decision because of something that your flesh wants, those are desires of the flesh that can lead to loving the world.
A big desire for many Christian women is food. Food can easily be a desire of the flesh when we choose not to fill our bodies with healthy food because we see and crave other foods or eat in excess.
What are Lust of the Eyes?
The second section is the lust of the eyes. That means seeing something that doesn’t belong to you and then wanting and obsessing over it. This could be a certain home, a social status, or something else.
If you see someone else’s ministry and think, “Man, I wish I could have a ministry like that,” then this thought is lust of the eyes. We may think that because it’s for the Lord, the thoughts aren’t bad, but in fact, it truly is.
One of the ways this comes into play for Christian women is through comparison. It’s a stronghold for most women as we compare our homes, our bodies, our spouses, and even the behavior of our children. We see these things in other people and want them, and then, we run the risk of craving it more than we love the Lord.
We want to be intentional about our possessions. We can see that it starts with the desires of the flesh (our body wanting something), then lust of the eyes follows. It may even lead to us taking that item, not necessarily from the person, but by going to the store to buy it for ourselves.
What is Pride in Possessions?
In the third section, John specifically mentioned “Pride in possessions,” or when you stuff becomes more than stuff.
When you start to take pride in the things that you have, you begin to love the world, and we don’t want to get to that place.
When we let go of this stuff and say no to excess (like one more set of dishes or more throw pillows) we’re saying, “I am choosing to love the Lord over the things of this world. I’m choosing not to let my possessions become a source of pride in my life.”
Even the amount of money you have in the bank can be an object of pride. Maybe you think, “I am self-sufficient. Look at all this money I have in my savings account!” Unfortunately, this is pride. When we get to that point, we’re not able to be open-handed with what God has given us.
When we accept what God has given us with an open hand, it allows the Lord to take that from us, use it, and put more in our hands. Sometimes, we worry that if we leave our hands open, God will take what He’s given us and never give it back. But, when we leave our hands open, we’re saying, “Lord, you can use me as a vessel to distribute what you have.”
When you are generous with what God has given you, He’s going to be more likely to give you more because He knows He can trust you with it. He knows that you’re not going to be close-fisted with it and that you will allow Him to give and take as He pleases as He uses you as a conduit for His will.
Once we let go of worries about possessions and become open-handed with what God has given us, we own our possessions instead of our possessions owning us. If your possessions are owning you instead of you owning them, then you may just be at a place where you need to go to the Lord and say, “God, help me to say no to things, let go of things, and live a life that is more focused on you.”
Something I tell my kids: “We love people, and we like things.” If you’re getting to the point where you’re loving things over people, try to remember this. It will help you look at your life in a different perspective.
A Resource to Share
I also wanted to share another resource that I have called The Super Mom Roadmap. It is a bundle of resources that I’ve created to help you lead your home with heart. It includes a video Bible study of the Proverbs 31 woman with a printable worksheet, the Hidden in my Heart course (which helps your children to memorize God’s word), and the Simple, Peaceful Home course (which talks to you about changing your to-do list and how you view your priorities so you can live with peace at home.)
If this post has shown you that you need to let go of some things and say no to excess, I encourage you to check it out again. I will see you soon!