The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters. – Psalms 24:1-2 (NIV)
We hear in the news about the extravagantly rich, the exorbitantly wealthy, but even they have limits. In history, kings and kingdoms have expanded across the globe, but all of them have come to ruin sooner or later. The fights over what belongs to who eat away at our communities, neighborhoods and families. Ownership is a funny thing, for it can help or hinder us depending on our perspective.
The world sees ownership almost solely in the context of rights. Scripture, however, sees ownership as stewardship. The one who owns something is responsible for how he handles that something. The parable of the talents comes to mind. The Psalmist understands this in the greater context and states it clearly, “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it.”
We are in a constant conflict with the world as it tries to convince our children that they have rights to certain things. We will be hard pressed to instill in them a sense of responsibility and gratitude for everything they have. Our lives will be marked not be spent in seeking ways to make more money, but investing more in our children and their life with God. If we can plant in their hearts the seeds of truth about everything belonging to God, we will help them have much happier lives.
Lord, help me avoid the consumerism and greed in the world around me. Keep me from striving after things that fade and rust. Let me live my life with the knowledge that everything belongs to You and help me teach that truth to my children. Amen.