The Desire to Own

So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain; it takes away the life of its owners. (Proverbs 1:19)

What is it that makes us want to own things? Or maybe it’s just me! But I see something pretty in a store and something in me desires to own it, even if it’s not anything I need or have a place for. Of course, I generally talk myself out of buying the item with little or no effort. I’m not a compulsive shopper, so to speak, but there is something in me that desires to take into my possession that which pleases me.

I don’t think I’m talking out of turn here. The Bible has a name for this “crave to own.” It’s greed.

Unfortunately, greed is a sin which, like all sin, can lead to our ruin. And we don’t just get greedy for things like purses and shoes and cars and jewelry. We can also desire to “own” accomplishments, titles, positions, or even a person.

Proverbs 1:19 teaches us that when we set out to own things, no matter what they might be, we tend to grab hold, manipulate matters, get worked up and hurt other people.

Our desire to gain causes us to lose instead.

We lose perspective, lose our dignity, lose our sense of right and wrong, lose those who love us, lose self-control, lose our life.

And yet, it’s difficult to hold life with wide open hands, generous and unaffected by greed. Our human nature wants to hold on, cling tight, pull close, and put our stamp on that which we claim. But our God calls us to let go, set free, make no claim, claim no rights, and rest in Him instead.

The good news, as unimaginable as it may be, is that when we let go, God rewards our release. And He can be trusted to give us exactly what we need if only we will rest in Him. It's ok to let go. Really it is. Hard sometimes, but ok. Good even. 

So open your hands, your heart, your mind. Slowly, oh so slowly, Let go. And live.

We can be greedy for more than material possessions, and that greed will be the death of us if we let it go unaddressed, unconfessed, and unbridled. What have you been holding tight that you need to let go of?