The effect of more stuff

When goods increase, they increase who eat them, and what advantage has their owner but to see them with his eyes? ESV Ecclesiastes 5:11

Solomon’s quote above aptly states a life truth I’m slowly experiencing. The more stuff you get, the more time and resources you invest in managing your stuff. In Solomon’s day, they lived in an agricultural society. As fields and crops increased, you had to increase your servants and workers who in turn ate more of your crops so that at the end of the day, you had little more wealth than you began with…it was just a bigger operation. I’ve heard similar stories with friends who have small businesses. They tell me they took home more when they worked for themselves than when they had 10 employees (with all the added costs and headaches that incurs).

I’ve seen this personally when we moved from a town home to a single family home. I managed my townhome yard in 15 minutes without breaking a sweat (mowing and weed whacking). Now we live on 4 acres and it takes at least 4 hours to mow and weed whack…not to mention the tractor is much more costly to maintain than my little push electric mower. God gives blessings, and there is nothing wrong with increasing our wealth, be that our business, our property, our stock portfolio, our cars. However, we need to realize that as we increase these things, they generally require more work, not less. The spiritual aspect comes into play when we consider our kingdom calling. We may be a great impact for the kingdom by enlarging our business. (I have many friends who minister to their employees and larger customer base.) This may keep us from kingdom ministry. (I have other friends who have lost their kingdom focus as their business overwhelmed them.) Some days I question whether my larger property is a kingdom bonus (we can and do minister to many more people in our home than we did in the townhome) or a kingdom distraction (it takes a lot more time to maintain than the townhome).

Regardless, this post is to challenge us to think through the impact our stuff has on us. Getting more may be a blessing, or a distraction. At best, it will be more complicated. Prayerfully consider your blessings and choose wisely!

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