“It is imperative on us to get rid of the tyranny of things…. When a man begins to abstain, then first he recognizes the strength of his passion; it may be, when a man has not a thing left, he will begin to know what a necessity he had made of things.”
– George MacDonald
8 thoughts on “Thoughts On A Quote”
We are indeed ruled by things round these parts. I love the truth in this statement.
We do give ourselves merit when we choose to leave things behind.
The ones who most clearly recognize “stuff” is not necessary are those who by their own poor choices or by circumstance alone have lost ALL. The most beautiful picture of this to me is the men at the Union Mission who have not a thing to their name and offer up their ALL in worship. And their ALL is absolutely breathtaking and leads me to deeper worship…which leads them….which leads me…
There’s something about losing ALL that makes us recognize the ALL within us and realize it truly is ALL we need. The rest is gravy. We need to learn to take only what we need and pass it on…and sometimes we need to just go ahead and abstain…after all, with really good meat n potatoes, who needs gravy!
Here in America we have lost what “needs” are and have taken on a whole different idea of survival. We have entered into a world that having internet, ipads, smart phones, and such are in the same category as food, water, love and most of all Jesus. When we truly lose everything we again start understanding who God is and that HE provides not us.
Even in our finances “we” have stretched our selves to the point that we can’t be the church like God has called us to be. We finance the life we have so much to the point that we take out loans to pay off other loans just to maintain a lifestyle that produces no fruit.
ENCOURAGEMENT- Go and read the Great Commission again and pray that God would reveal how you can fulfill what he has called us to do!! Matthew 28:16-20
So are all things unnecessary? I’m not sure it’s things MacDonald is referring to, but the ‘tyranny of things’ and there’s a difference, IMHO. And, like it or not, sometimes things are necessary in order to survive. I think the real issue is when the acquisition of things becomes the idol that is served at the expense of everything and everyone else.
I believe life is easier or more fulfilling when I don’t rely on worldly things. The scriptures tell us to meditate upon eternal things.When I purge my life of the unnecessary things, there is a burden lifted.
God gives us the gift of contentment with life in two ways: 1) When we discipline ourselves through abstaining from excesses (tyranny of things) that distract from true enjoyment of life, and 2) through circumstances when we experience loss of “things” or involuntary abstaining
🙂 Even when we’ve experienced the joy and renewed strength of passion that comes from losing the stuff and living again by being happy with our true blessings, most of us slowly justify our way back to a life attached to a tyranny of things rather than living life attached to Him.
We only think we own our stuff, but most of the time our stuff owns us. The more of it we get, the harder it seems for us to be able to let it go. When we get used to a higher quality of something, it can be hard to return to the lesser quality.
Of course this isn’t true for everyone, but I would say it is for most of us.
My friend, a missionary in the Philippines, is a Bible translator. On Saturday their home was robbed while they were sleeping. He thought about Jesus’ words as he surveyed the damage: “Do not store up treasures on earth where thieves break in and steal.” He lost many important ministry tools, but gained perspective. He wrote, “If our dearest treasure is in some earthly thing, it will always be terribly vulnerable. God offers us the joy of seeking him first, and making him our treasure.”
Jesus also said, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” When your treasure is found in God, no one and nothing can take that away . . . not divorce, greed, legal maneuvers, theft, loss of income or health, powerful people, evil forces, or death itself. I remember telling someone a few years ago, “You can take my house, my car, my computers, my books, and the clothes off my back, but you cannot have the blood in my veins and the joy in my heart.” I have the tendency to make people, not things, my treasure. But even people can be lost through tragedy and death. The only real treasure that can never be taken away is God’s love and abiding presence within (Romans 8:38-39). It is a daily struggle to keep the “strength of my passion” focused more on God rather than people or things, but it is my heart’s desire.
We are going through the same path that our Forefathers came to this continent to rid themselves of. Is it mans intent live in demise rather than life. How we made it this far is beyond me, from the latter half of the last century to today, the only real difference is technology and a strong lack of a moral compass. I wish that when the bus we are on is fixed, we leave a sound bus for our generations that will follow to ride in. Quite frankly, being 60 years old, I am glad for my age, I would hate to have youthful hopes and turn on the news each day, how depleting in a world supposedly filled with vision.