September 4

Luke 14:31-33

“So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions.” vs. 33

When we take these words of Jesus literally, we are likely to dismiss them without much thought. We’re very aware of sectarian leaders who asked their followers to sign over all their property and then live together in community. Often they claimed that such a practice was a part of the call to discipleship and pointed to these words as a prooftext. While it’s proper for us to resist such manipulation, we do Jesus a disservice if we don’t take his point seriously. He’s right! Possessions can be a barrier to our spiritual well-being and can easily take over our lives. And it’s not only the rich who are affected. Hoarders can be found at every economic level and nearly all of us know the pain of giving things up or throwing things away. And the more tightly we hang on to our things, the less likely we are to ever experience the true freedom present in authentic discipleship. That’s why the downsizing that is often a part of our aging is such a blessing. We discover that getting rid of possessions is one of the keys to contentment–it’s just too bad that it takes so long for us to figure this out. Blessed are those who willingly give up their stuff, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven! 

Thought for the Day: What possessions are most dear to me?

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