”And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.” Luke 12:17-19.
What do I do with all this Stuff?
Ask children what they received for Christmas and a few might answer, “I got a bike, a computer, a game and a lot of stuff.” Some have looked at all of the boxes, paper, and other wrappings and scratched their heads as they asked, “What do I do with all of this “stuff?” Stuff; it’s everywhere. You have stuff in the kitchen. There are pots and pans in our kitchens that haven’t been used in years, but we keep them. Cups, mugs, jars, plates and other dishes have accumulated too. There are seasonings in our cabinets that are so old that they can’t give taste anymore. Our closets are filled with stuff too. Some hanger rods are bending from all of the stuff we hang on them. If we put one more box on the top shelf everything would fall. We have stuff on the hangers, stuff on the floors, and stuff in the corners. We have stuff stacked in the hallways. We have stuff in boxes and hanging out of boxes. Our carports are filled with stuff. Our attics are filled with stuff. Our storage houses are filled with stuff. Even the trunks of our cars are filled with stuff. Stuff has a way of generating more stuff. A new dress generates a new pair of shoes to match and perhaps a hat and other accessories as well. Stuff begets more stuff. We could stack it all in our front yards and take a picture and declare “We won!”- Why? Because we collected the most stuff. Consider the young woman who had found herself a new apartment and was preparing to move. Her girl friend had come to help her but found her sitting in the middle of packing boxes crying. When asked to explain her tears she said, she never realized how much “stuff” she had accumulated. “I’m not going to be able to take all of this to my new apartment” she moaned. “What am I going to do with all this stuff?” There were what-nots and souvenirs, gifts, mementos, gadgets and plethora of others. She was a complete mess. “What am I going to do with all this stuff?” Her friend, who had faced the same dilemma once said: “Take only what you need to get where you’re going!” With that, the young lady painfully decided to leave behind many things which tied her to the past and took only those things she needed to claim her future.
Our revival is over, and we are faced with a similar challenge, “What am I going to do with all this stuff?” As Christians, we have learned that there are many things in life that we think are important but they are really not. What matters is the stuff related to God and family. All of the other things just get in the way. We must carry on the stuff that will bring us closer to what’s really important. The rest we will leave behind. Too much stuff can get in the way of real happiness. That comes from the blessings of God and the love of family.
What is the accumulated effect of having lots of stuff? Stuff affects us in many ways because while we have a great deal of material stuff we also have lots of emotional stuff too.
When we consider stuff we should remember that:
TOO MUCH STUFF GETS IN THE WAY: Have you found yourself dealing with so much stuff that you really could not focus on important things in your life. Before you could finish dealing with one issue there was another and another. There was so much stuff that you had to deal with that it prevented that quality time you wanted with your family or that service you wanted to give to the church. All of the stuff that you dealing with didn’t make you any happier; mostly it posed stumbling blocks for you. Hebrews 12:1 suggests that we should turn aside from stuff that blocks our way. It says, “lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” Church, we must not let stuff get in the way.
DON’T LET OTHERS DUMP THEIR STUFF ON YOU: There are many who received problems that others dumped on them. What kind of stuff gets dumped on you? These are the things that others should do but don’t want to do so they looked for someone to dump it on. There are many who have been frustrated because we have been handling stuff that was dumped on us by someone else. In addition to your own issues, many have had to spend much time dealing with unsolicited issues dumped on them by others. If you let them people will dump their stuff on you, and leave you to deal with it. This does not suggest that we should be insensitive to the needs of others, but it does suggest that you select what you want to receive rather than being dumped on. But if we are to see with a clear mind, it gets easier without dealing with the “stuff” dumped on us by others.
GET RID OF STUFF YOU DON’T NEED: Often we accumulate stuff that we thought we wanted or needed at the time. Often we visit bargain sales and garage sales and come home with our arms filled with stuff that that we think we want. In a few hours, the novelty wears off and that stuff takes its place along side all of the other stuff that we purchased in the past thinking we either wanted it or needed it. Do we really need so much stuff? Probably not, but we thought we wanted it. Life is the same way. Why do we have so many shoes, suits, dresses, hats, sweaters; some we haven’t worn for years? We thought we needed them at one time. Somehow life teased us that things would improve if we only purchased a little more stuff. As we consider our walk with the Lord we must lay aside some of the stuff we thought we wanted but didn’t. We can leave it behind in, especially if it does not take us where we want to go.
SOME STUFF IS GOOD STUFF: Before you throw out all of your stuff, remember that some stuff you have is good stuff. Granted that there is much stuff we don’t need, there is also plenty of good stuff we need to keep. Be careful not to dump good stuff along with the other junk. Take an inventory of what you have. What can you live happily without? We have some stuff that bothers us sometimes but when we think about it, its good stuff. If you have a wife who loves you, is faithful and caring; that’s good stuff, think twice before you throw her away. If you have a husband who loves you and provides for you and meets your needs, despite his flaws, he’s good stuff. Are you in a relationship that has some trouble but overall it is growing in trust, faith and happiness? That’s good stuff? Are you on a successful career track but are irritated by a few things that happen on the job, think about it; the job you have may be good stuff. Any stuff that you have that will help you get to where you want to go, is good stuff.
Remember, if you throw away good stuff, someone else will pick up it up before you get a chance to turn around because “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
Get the Right Stuff
Finally, brothers and sisters we must remember that there is nothing wrong with having stuff, but we must make sure we have the “right stuff.” Jesus said the man in the parable had a lot of stuff, but he didn’t have the right stuff. He had a barn filled with the fruits of his labor, but he didn’t have the right stuff. He had plenty resources at his disposal and successes under his belt, but he didn’t have the right stuff. The right stuff is those things essential to building our relationship with God. Revival has come and we must strive to carry only the stuff we will need to get where we are going. We need to leave fear behind, because it causes us to miss opportunities that God has in store for us. Fear is the wrong stuff. We need to leave worry behind, because it causes us to doubt God’s ability to make a way out of no way. What we need is the love of God, and the grace of God…that’s the right stuff. The grace of God gives us: —Peace when the storms are raging! —Hope when all around me are in despair!
—Courage to fight our battles!
—Determination to fulfill our duties!
—Believe when others doubt!
—Go Forth, when others hold back!
—Work, when others sleep!
—Love, when others hate!
What we need to do is to trust in the Lord. When we trust and obey, he’ll make a way for us! Trust in him who will not leave you! I don’t know about you but I’m going to trust the man who had the right stuff. Nobody else could do it: Not Moses or Elijah; not Peter, John or Paul! His name is Jesus, he had the right stuff! He came and he died on an old rugged cross! But early Sunday morning, he arose from the dead because he had..the right stuff!