Thursday, July 12, 2012

Worthless Things

If you are like me, there are items in your home that have been in storage for some time and that you perhaps haven’t seen for years. I, in fact, have a basement full of such items.

The items that mean the most to me are carefully stored in plastic tubs on shelves. Decorations for Christmas, autumn, and other seasons are neatly packed away. Carefully placed where I can find them.

However, the rest of my basement could use some attention. I do have it somewhat organized. For instance, I have a “baby” corner. That is where you’ll find the portable play pen, baby swing, high chair, and anything else infant related. Each time I place an item in that corner, I think it’s the last time I’ll be using it, then “surprise!” I’m a Baba again! These are the best surprises.

There is a section where the items belong to my husband. If he’s looking for something specific, he knows where he can search. The same can be said for my children. They know where their specific section is.

But, the rest of the basement is filled with items that I haven’t been able to part with…up until this point. My basement is filled with worthless things. And I sigh each time I head to the basement.

Worthless things tend to get hold of us and then we find it difficult to rid ourselves of said items. Sometimes we are overwhelmed with the abundance of worthless things and don’t know where to start in getting rid of them. Perhaps we don’t have the energy or the ability to dispose of them.

Whatever the case, these worthless things need to be thrown away or given away because of the mental energy that is expended in thinking of these things or the physical energy used to move the worthless stuff around. There is a reason they are called “worthless things.”

Scripture has a few things to say about worthless things. Let’s see what God’s Word brings to this topic.

Proverbs 11:4 (NIV) tells us, “Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.” Money is important, yes, necessary for our daily lives. And it is crucial that our attitude toward wealth stay in line with God’s Word. But in the end, on judgment day, wealth will be worthless. Money will not buy your way to eternity in God’s presence. Wealth will be worthless on that day.

“All who make idols are nothing, and the things they treasure are worthless.” (Isaiah 44:9a – NIV) You’ve heard it before, anything that we place before God in our lives is an idol. Television, internet, friends, busyness, possessions, and the list could go on and on. When we take a good look at ourselves, we are able to find those idols in our lives. These worthless “treasures” should be disposed of. They have shouldn’t have a place in our lives.

This next verse adds a consequence of having worthless idols in our lives. “Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.” (Jonah 2:8 – NIV) Forfeiting grace is not what I want. If these worthless idols in my life are affecting the grace God has to bestow upon me, they are truly worthless. Nothing, nothing is worth forfeiture of God’s grace!

After healing a man in Lystra, Paul and Barnabas were considered to be gods who had come to live among the people. Paul and Barnabas were so upset by the crowd’s reaction that they tore their clothing and began shouting. “Men, why are you doing this? We too are only men, human like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them.” (Acts 14:15 – NIV)

The worthless things in Lystra had led the people to a misunderstanding of whom and what Paul and Barnabas were. They can have the same effect on our lives if we allow the worthless things of this world to become prominent. We must turn from the worthless things to the living God. It is only through Him that we are able to find complete worth.

Now that we know what worthless things bring with them, why would we want to have anything to do with anything worthless? David knew how these things could draw him into their worthlessness and he prayed this prayer. It’s one that we can use when we are captured by anything that just doesn’t matter.

In Psalm 119:37 (NIV), David says, “Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.” Let’s make this our prayer today. To keep our eyes focused on God and not on worthless things.

The time and energy lost by sifting through all the worthless things is indeed wasted time and energy. Perhaps this is the summer for the worthless items in my basement to be purged. But more importantly, it’s time to purge the worthless things in my spiritual life. What about you? Do you have any purging to do?

Grace and peace be yours in abundance,


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