Downsizing … Of Sorts

January 12, 2019
by Martin Wiles

Luke 12:18 – Then he said, "I know! I'll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I'll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods." (NLT)

"Where are we going put it? I think we're turning into hoarders."

My wife and I have both asked the question and made the statement. Our love for antiques — especially furniture — keeps us adding to our collection and trying to stuff them into a small townhouse. On a recent move, we decided that we were going to downsize — of sorts — not that we were going to sell anything. We would simply transfer some things from our townhouse to the storage shed.

We decided that there were a few items that we could live without seeing or using. We loaded them into the back of our sport utility vehicle and transported them several miles away. Perhaps our kids will want them someday. Or maybe, before we die, we'll once again live in a larger place. Of course, all of our stored pieces are assets that we could sell if we needed money.

Jesus told about a rich man who was a hoarder — but he wasn't into downsizing. He was into upsizing. His crops produced more than normal. His barns were full. There was nothing for him to do but build larger barns, store his goods, and eat, drink, and be merry. Life was good — or so he thought — until God confronted him and told him that his life would end that night.

Whether I actually downsize, I need at least to downsize in my thinking. Possessions are for this life. I will always love antiques and continue collecting them — and sell a few along the way. But I'm intelligent enough to know that I can't take them to heaven with me when I go.

God gives us things of this life to enjoy, but they are for earth, not heaven or the new earth. Possessions are tangible, corruptible, and breakable, and can be stolen by thieves. Placing my security or faith in them will always lead to disappointment.

My possessions bring me joy, but God expects me to use them to help others and also to advance His kingdom. Seeing what I have as temporary helps me to do this with the right attitude and avoid the rich man's selfish thinking. And if by chance, my possessions turn my focus from God, I need to downsize.

Don't let your possessions possess you. Downsize.

Prayer: Father, we thank You for all the things that You give us. Help us to use them to glorify Your name and advance Your work in this world. Amen.

About the author:

Martin Wiles <mandmwiles@gmail.com>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    So true! And blessings for speaking truth.


    Thank you, Martin, for this timely reminder.


    Thanks, that was a meaning full message.
    Thanks.


    Amen Martin. I just moved from 2000+ square feet to almost 400 sq feet. Talk about downsizing!


    Thank you, Martin for a concise and well-written understanding today. Blessings on your writing as it blesses us.


    Hi Martin, a very good devotional today. It had a great spiritual message and just enough humor to kick start my day! Thanks.


    My problem is similar but different. My home is practically a museum furnished with precious things I brought from several countries overseas where I served as a missionary. I have put things in boxes but many are still in use in my home.


    Greetings Martin,
    Thank you for this devotional. A very good reminder that what we accumulate can’t come with us when the Lord calls us to our heavenly home. I must get motivated one day soon to start downsizing but it is difficult when so many items have sentimental value. Lord help me do what I must do!
    Blessings for your writings Martin.
    (B.C.)


    Interesting devotional on downsizing Martin. However. and I do not mean to be rude, but you are not downsizing by putting things into storage, you are just moving them from one place to the other and prolonging the inevitable. I empathize with this as I have downsized 3 times since my husband passed on 10 years ago. Yet my family keeps telling me “Mom”, you have too much, you need to downsize and they are right. When I have given items such as beds, dressers to people who are in need, it does the heart good (in spite of parting with favourite pieces) to know that they will be put to good use instead of taking up space. God Bless You and hope you have a healthy 2019.


    I have a friend who right now is in crisis. She has multiple storage units. A lifetime of memories. HER LIFE HAS FALLEN APART, HEALTH, WEALTH and it is tearing her apart. I ache for her but reality, the stuff once valuable no longer sells. I/We have a BIG house. Furnished. But the attic is remarkable empty. My memories are written in diaries and journals and stored in my mind. I once panicked at the thought of losing the boxes of diaries if there ever was a fire. But decided if that happened, well, I’d still have memories and God has it all down so, not to worry. It is a lesson I learned quite a few years ago now and “stuff” makes me claustrophobic now. That’s me, but my kids won’t have all that much to deal with, hopefully, when I’m gone. “where the treasure is, there the heart will be. I try to encourage my friend by bringing her to the Lord and praying with her. The crunch is just around the corner! Pray too! Thanks.


    Thank you, Martin – that’s a very aptly stated message and reminder to us all!
    Blessings.


    Good stuff Martin. Thanks… with your blessing, will use some of this tomorrow in my sermon.
    Blessings.


    Dear Martin,
    Thank you for your devotional of today on the PCC website.

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