In a world that grows more rabidly materialistic by the day, we would do well to remember a theme we find throughout the Bible, and possibly even adopt it as a motto for the coming year. If taken to heart, this simple formula could save us a lot of unnecessary grief.
Two simple words, alive with freedom and possibility. If you don't need something, get rid of it. Trim fat, shed ounces, discard baggage. Backpackers understand this principle, as do swimmers and certain successful writers. When there's something you want to say or somewhere you want to go, less is more. Holding a bowling ball in your lap is fine if you're sitting still, but if you want to run a marathon it's going to get heavy real fast. As we see in Hebrews 12:1, it's just spiritual physics.
We have altogether too much stuff. I mean this in both a practical and spiritual sense. Our houses, garages, and storage units are filled with clutter, and so are our minds. Our mental furniture is piled so high we can no longer see out the windows. It's time for a purge.
In speaking of spiritual cerebral clutter, I don't mean only entertainment, technology, and information. I mean theology too. Everyone has an opinion about God, and though we can glean much from others who have learned to share their schooling in Christ, we are not obligated to carry about in our heads the multitudinous theories of every evangelical pulpit pundit. It's futile, unnecessary, and presumptuous.
Paul knew this. He knew our tendency to adorn, embellish, and gather wool. He knew that things would become complicated and tangled up. And he feared lest Jesus should be lost in the process.
But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.2 Corinthians 11:3
For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.1 Corinthians 2:2
We can't talk sense if we've got a theological kitchen sink stuffed into our brains. That's not spirituality, it's suffocation. We need to be light, nimble, ready to move. Keep what you need: leave the rest behind. As Oswald Chambers would say, "May God keep us in fighting trim!"
This doesn't mean that we shouldn't believe stuff, and neither does it mean that we shouldn't possess anything. It only means we must maintain a vital internal detachment from theories and things, remembering our supreme purpose: that of knowing and serving Christ. If an object or idea doesn't help us on toward this goal, throw it away; it's only dragging you down.
This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealing with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.1 Corinthians 7:29-31
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