“What I mean, brothers and sisters, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they do not; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.” 1Corinthians 7:29-31 NIV
NOT ENGROSSED IN THEM
“Those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them,” hmmmm. You think the Holy Spirit is trying to tell us something? God didn’t say we can’t use the things of this world, He simply said not to be engrossed in them. To be engrossed in something means it holds your complete interest or attention. That’s all you care about. The only thing we’re to be that devoted to is God:
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31 NIV
Whatever we are engrossed in becomes our god. Only God, our Creator, deserves our complete interest or attention. But people today have many gods. There are many things in this life that holds one’s complete attention. Many of them are various forms of entertainment. Some are physical objects like cars, houses, technology gadgets, food, clothes, and the like. Some have made other people their gods. And many worship all of the above. The saddest part about it is all of these things are temporary. They will all fade away.
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” 1John 2:15-17 NIV
“Those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep,” hmmmm. How many things have you bought since you were alive? Can you count them all. I know I can’t. Let’s face it, we all need stuff. And unless you’re the world’s greatest pack rat you don’t own most of the stuff you’ve bought in your lifetime. Somehow it all passes away. Whether with use, or whether we lose things somehow, or whether we decide to share our stuff with others in need, or whether the end of this world comes and takes away all of our stuff, know that one day it will all be gone. Some things bring us pleasures and comforts we really don’t need but are nice to have. There’s nothing wrong with that. All God is saying is when you buy something don’t view it as yours to keep. Know that it will one day pass away. Don’t become too attached to anything here. Don’t have a selfish hoarder mentality. When the things we buy hold our complete interest or attention it becomes our god. Be willing to let stuff go. Be willing to share with others in need.
“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Luke 6:27-31 NIV
“All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.” Acts 2:44-45 NIV
The believers mentioned in Acts chapter 2 had the right attitude about stuff. The fella mentioned below did not:
“And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:16-21 NIV
Those who believe in selfishly hoarding wealth to later retire one day got it all wrong. They don’t know just how temporary it all is or this life is. Let’s say you do get to retire later after attaining great wealth. You still have to face death. And there is no rest home or retirement program in hell. That is where the greedy who didn’t help the needy will find themselves. Don’t be a fool, be rich with God by helping others. Everything else is all temporary.