Having Stuff vs. Stuff Having You


Jesus makes a couple of remarks about possessions in today’s Bible reading in Mark 10. The chapter includes the story of the Rich Young Ruler, a man who had a lot of stuff.

After telling Jesus that he had kept the commandments since birth, Jesus went directly for the young man’s heart: He told him to go sell everything he had. Mark tells us that the young man went away grieving because he had a lot of stuff (Mark 10:22). I would add that a lot of stuff had the young man; he was preoccupied with his stuff.

The other thing that Jesus said about possessions is that it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom.

I have heard preachers say that there is a place in the Holy Land called The Needle where camel owners will take their camels, but the opening — called The Eye — is so small that their camel has to get down on its knees to go through. Well, that’s a great “preacher story”, but I seriously doubt that there’s any truth in it; I’ve never seen a reference to it in a Bible Atlas or heard any scholars make mention of it.

But the application of that preacher story is very true: humility is required in order to be a Kingdom Citizen. We have to have a mindset that life isn’t about us. Life is about the King and His Kingdom. (Matthew 6:33) Believers are merely subjects — adopted children, but still subjects.


Nowhere in Scripture are we told that being rich is evil. However, throughout Scripture, we’re told that when we are blessed, we need to use the blessing to bless other people.

So how much should you give? Should we give 10% and live on 90%? Maybe. Or perhaps God wants you to give 90% and live on 10%.

I don’t know your heart. But a gracious heart is a generous heart.