Americans like their stuff, but does God?

Published 11:46 pm Saturday, November 24, 2018

By Karen Y. Stevens


Most preaching today states “God wants us to be happy, God wants us to be prosperous.”

But does He really?  Does He want our kind of happiness or His kind?

For those of you who know me, know I have another entire household in my attic.  My husband has his things that he does not want to throw out, and I have mine.  What is it about stuff that has this pull on us?  The LA Times tells us that the average American home has 300,000 items, and one out of ten Americans rent offsite storage.  Americans spend 1.2 trillion annually on nonessential goods – as in items we don’t need.

Luke 12:15 tells us “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.”

Why do you think Jesus would have said this?  I think it’s because He knows we are wasting our life acquiring stuff, instead of investing into the kingdom of God.

In Luke 12: 18-21, Jesus tells the parable of the rich man.  The rich men ask himself “What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?”

Paraphrasing, He says he will build larger barns to store his grains and goods, (aka “stuff”).  He then tells himself he will eat, drink and be merry.

20” But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, (which means he’s going to die!), and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’  21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

God is saying that if we are so busy collecting money, material items, etc., we are not doing what God wants us to do, and we can’t lay riches up in heaven.

Which brings us back to the question: “Why do we want so much stuff?”

I read that it’s because everyone wants to be unique, superior and more special than the others.  And when what we are, is not enough, we develop our uniqueness through what we own.  If that’s true, then having the latest and greatest of items, is just a form of pride, stating that I’m better than you because I have this item.

And what are we doing to our children?  British research found that the average 10 year old, owns 238 toys, but plays with just 12 daily.  The United States has upward of 50,000 storage facilities, while 25% of people with two-car garages don’t have room to park cars inside them, and 32% have room for only one vehicle.

The latest trend is minimalist.  Turns out, even the secular crowd understands how “stuff” can pull us down.  Have a garage sale and declutter your life and start collecting treasures in heaven.

You don’t have to pay a storage fee with this option!


Karen Y. Stevens is the founder of Orange County Christian Writers Guild