People or possession?

When we become possessed with possessions, possessions possess us and block our potential for real joy. It is like a monkey grabbing peanuts from a tiny little hole in a tree. It’s hands are so full that it cannot take its hand out of the tiny hole until it drops the peanuts.

A man who had many possessions once came to Jesus and asked how he could enjoy eternal life. After he accepted that he followed the religious tenets faithfully, Jesus then told him, "You lack one thing; go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me."  At that saying his countenance fell, and he went away sorrowful; for, he was possessed with his possessions. (Luke 18:21-22).  Even when Jesus called his disciples, he did not attract them with material promises. 
Instead, he said, "The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head." (Mathew 8:20) In effect, Jesus was telling his followers that true happiness comes from relationships and not things.  Jesus was people-oriented. Judas became things-oriented and so even took 30 pieces of silver to betray a relationship.

There is a story of a very wealthy father who took his young son on a trip to a place where people lived in poverty. He wanted his son to see how poor people could be. After spending a whole day there, on their return, the boy gave his dad the feedback saying, “I saw that we have one dog at home, and they have four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of the garden, they have a little river that has no end. We have imported lamps in the garden, they have the stars. Our backyard reaches to the front yard, but they have a whole horizon.”

His son added, "Thanks, dad, for showing me how poor we are!  We have so much, but we are not happy like they are"

It is in love, friends, family, health, good humour and a positive attitude toward life that we find happiness.  Richer is he who has the love of friends and family than the one who possesses material comforts and lacks relationships with people.

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