“According to Jesus, there is not a single human life that is defined by the number of goods they possess.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 24, 2022
And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Luke 12:15, ESV
Thanksgiving Day is a material sort of day. “Black Friday” deals that arrive weeks in advance and extend weeks into the future condition us to think about our stuff: what we have and what we don’t have, what we want and what we need. Add to this a day of feasting without any cultural rival, and it is quite literally a day of “stuffing and stuff.”
In light of this, it is understandable that our giving thanks on this day is often measured in material ways. We take time to express thankfulness for our home, our jobs, or this or that possession. And of course, hear me loud and clear, this is not wrong. All things come from the Lord and each is to be received as a gift and offered back to the Lord with thankful hearts of praise.
And yet, in our material world on this material day, let us for a moment pause and reflect upon our Lord’s words in Luke 13, where he reminds us to “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Here’s an uncommon Thanksgiving Day message for you this year: take care and be on guard!
We are chronically discontented as a species, and marketing experts have built entire industries around this fact, ever-refining their ability to turn our discontent into economic value. Last year’s TV or phone can’t compare to this year’s model! If your kitchen isn’t a “smart kitchen,” is it a kitchen at all? If one (of any product!) is good, two or three are even better!
In subtle and not-so-subtle ways, this worldview creeps into our hearts and shapes our understanding of the world and of ourselves. If our possessions are great, we believe our lives to be of substance and significance. If we are lacking in material wealth, we take this as a sign of our own personal inadequacies. Yet the power of Jesus’ words is found in his ability to lovingly redirect and renew both the rich and the poor.
According to Jesus, there is not a single human life that is defined by the number of goods they possess.
As such, here is my challenge to you today on this Thanksgiving Day: with your family and friends, take time to share areas of gratitude and thanksgiving from this past year without any reference to material goods or possessions. As you do, in small but significant ways, you will be reminded of your true identity in Christ, and cultivate a heart of gratitude for that which truly endures.
Father, thank you for your incredible love for us that is not bound or defined by our earthly goods. Remind us of this truth today, we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.
At Thanksgiving dinner, go around the table and give thanks for something or someone entirely unrelated to your possessions.
1 Samuel 12:24; Psalm 103:2-5; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Marc Martel: Thank You for Saving Me
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