Earlier last week my wife and I cleaned out some more of the garage. (I get inspired reading a few “minimalist” blogs from time to time, and yes, we can most probably live very comfortably with far less stuff than we all have.) With pride, I dumped yet more books, a whole box of CDs, and assorted goods that just never got used. I am definitely not an ultra minimalist, but I’m heading in that direction.

Western civilization prides itself on collecting stuff. Business is built on people, “buying things they don’t need, with money they don’t have, to impress people they don’t like.” I’m not sure who penned this statement, but there’s surely some truth in it. However, as western society breaks down, marriages crumble, families disintegrate and violence, adultery, theft, drug abuse, drunkenness abound, there is surely a correlation between the state we find ourselves in, and our obsession with things.

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15).

Not only are believers commanded to NOT love the world, we are also directed to NOT love the things which are in it. It has been well said, “Most people love things, and use people; rather, use things and love people.” What this old world desperately needs is the love of God, shared through His people. Families need God’s love. Marriages need God’s love. Churches need God’s love. Cities need God’s love. The truth is, we either love God, or we love the world and the things therein. The choice is mutually exclusive. It;s one or the other.

Friend, do you love the things in the world? People line up for hours to buy the latest iPhone, or computer game, or music album. Would we line up for hours to spend time with the Creator. Would we put aside our “things” to meet with God, enjoy His company, bask in His love and read the Bible, His love letter to us?

Guess what? These things that we so often love instead of God are one day going to disappear. There will be no mobile phones in Heaven, no TV, no cameras, no computers, no ipads, no stereos, no DVDs, no games. It will be an incredibly, impossibly, unendingly wonderful place, where trinkets will be forgotten, unnecessary and irrelevant.

And the world passeth away…” (1 John 2:17a)

Should I throw my iPhone in the garbage? I don’t think that’s necessary. Should I burn my camera? No. I just need to make sure that my priorities are right. Love people, use things. More than anything else, I need to radiate God’s love in my love, to others. That’s what this cold world needs.