“Don’t use people and love things. Love people and use things.” -Nicky and Pippa Gumbel
Since we’re in the midst of the Christmas sale season, I can’t help but to reflect deeply on these words. This quote hit me hard. As I’ve done some shopping recently, I had to stop to check myself and my motives as we approach Christmas. Am I loving things a bit too much? I have a list of “wants” – some I’ll buy, but most I’ll probably just keep on the list. None of the things are necessities but rather tech gear to satisfy my techno geek indulgences.
In my pursuit of things, Am I loving people more than things? I find joy in serving the community but I have not done a good job of becoming actively engaged in organizations in my new city over this last year. However, I have done my best to reestablish connections within my family.
But as I reflect more, I have come to realize that “things” are necessarily the tech gadgets that I want to buy. It involves so much more, and then this verse jumped out:
“Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.”
1 John 2:15-17 NLT
For me, food as been an issue lately. I realized that my “thing” is food. Specifically the items that does my body no good. I’ve been using food for comfort rather than focusing on nurturing my relationships with people. When I study these verses, I am reminded that my cravings for sugary and salty snacks is only a craving for physical pleasure in that moment. I mean, most times I’m not even hungry. Instead, I could be using the time that I take to eat snacks, to check in on a friend or family member. Yeah, I’m gonna work on that part.
When you look at where your time, thoughts, and energy go, do you love things or people more?