Monday, July 19, 2010

A Simple Necessity

I just realized this weekend; as I sat in my yard, behind several tables of my worldly possessions hoping someone would come and take it all away, that having yard sales is a Biblical principle. In the New Testament it tells how first century Christians sold their possessions and gave to the poor and the Church. Even today the occasional story of some radical young Christian getting rid of everything they own is told to the astonishment and head shaking of more seasoned believers. I mean, you have to be really super spiritual or nuts to feel called to do something like that. Right? It's hard to wrap your mind around the thought of anyone doing such a thing, isn't it?

I'll admit I'd probably be right beside the "Rich Young Man" who couldn't part with his stuff when Jesus told him to give it all away and follow Him. It's hard to go through the things that I've accumulated over the years. A lot of my stuff has sentimental value to me. So I can relate to the guy. Often in sermons the poor fellow is condemned for his unwillingness to obey and love of worldly pleasures and possessions. He's made out to be a terrible wicked evil person. After all, this was JESUS, God of the Universe Incarnate Himself talking to him. Duh, no-brainer. Right? I don't think so. How many times have we heard a word from God and not been willing to do what He told us to do? But even though the young man failed miserably that day because he wasn't at a point in his life where he could recognize God's voice, I'd like to think that maybe later in his life he sought forgiveness and was able to obey that command. It gives me hope.

Back onto the subject: There I was this weekend smiling and telling people as they asked for my prices that the way my yard sale worked was that if they wanted it, to take it and if they felt like leaving a donation of any amount, I'd appreciate it but they really didn't have to, just please take the item. The reactions varied from skepticism, laughter and amazement to one guy actually becoming disgusted and angry that I wasn't demanding a price. Come to think about it, there's some correlation to how people react to the gift of salvation in that. Hmmm.

Once I got the stuff out of the house and into the yard, I no longer cared about it as much and it was rather liberating and fun to get rid of it. And that's when it struck me; those early Christians were just average people like me holding big yard sales. Man, I would have loved to have gone to their yard sales. (Can you imagine how valuable their junk would be now? What deals! But I digress.) They were getting rid of their junk so that they could be freed up to do what the Lord wanted them to do. I'm trying to get rid of stuff because I don't need the baggage to do what the Lord wants me to do in Brazil. Giving away or selling your possessions is not as super spiritual as it sounds, it's just a simple necessity. Who knew that Christians are called to hold amazing yard sales?