Letting go of stuff

How many of you like to receive new things? New clothes, new cars, new homes

Rob MacArthur

Word of Life Church

How many of you like to receive new things? New clothes, new cars, new homes. New is fun! But there is a part of the process of new things happening in our life that we really don’t like, and that’s the process of letting go of the old stuff. I will “occasionally” sit down with my wife and watch one of her favorite programs. It’s called “What Not to Wear”. The premise is one lucky contestant is nominated to receive a makeover, complete with a new haircut, new makeup technique, and a $5,000 credit card. The catch: they must bring every article of clothing they have and allow the show’s host to throw them in the garbage. That sentimental hoodie swiped from your boyfriend? Gone. Those comfortable sweat pants you wear around the house? Gone. That blouse from a bygone era? You got it. Gone.

Something in our psyche has a great resistance to letting go of old stuff. I have come to the conclusion that the key to me doing or receiving new things in my life is not dependant on my dreams, my aspirations, or my finances but rather on what stuff I am willing to let go of.

Abraham is considered the father of faith. Islam, Christianity, and Judaism all trace their roots back to Abraham. What many do not know is that Abraham’s adventure started with letting go of stuff. In the bible, God told Abraham to “Get out of your country, from your family, from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation. I will bless you.” In other words, Abraham, if you want to be great, you’re going to have to let go of some stuff. Leave your country – leave that stuff which to this point in your life has defined who you are, that stuff which you are familiar with. Leave your family and your father’s house – leave behind those patterns of thought that have shaped the way you make decisions, the way you respond to life’s ups and downs.

God was saying, “Let go of some stuff. Get away from those things that you turn to for comfort, because I am going to make you great”. We all have things that we turn to for comfort. The familiar stuff. Some of that stuff defines us. Some of that stuff is righteous. Some of that stuff is destructive. For instance, when you become uncomfortable because there is financial pressure, or stress at work, or strife in your home, we all have ways that we cope with it. You might pray. You might turn to a support system of people who will encourage you and give you good counsel. Or, you might shop. You might eat. You might have a couple of drinks. You might get angry. You might look at pornography. You might gossip. You might take drugs. In and of itself, shopping is not destructive, but if you have 10 maxed out credit cards, you might be turning to the wrong stuff for comfort! Bottom line, if the result of what you are doing is destructive to you, your relationships, your job, your finances, your marriage, to your life, then you need to let it go.

Often times we fool ourselves into thinking that what we do only affects ourselves. “Well, I’m not hurting anyone. It’s all on me”, we think. In some cases, that might be true, but while we may not be hurting anyone, we are also not blessing anyone. God’s plan was to make Abraham great. He wanted Abraham to be blessed. In what ways have we side stepped God’s blessing because we violated God’s life principles, turning to every other means to find relief to our problems? This article is all inclusive. No one can read it and say “this does not apply to me”. The bible tells us that none of us measure up, that we have all sinned, but thankfully through Jesus’ mercy, what he did on the cross and through his resurrection, we can be saved. His plan is for us to have the best life! Free from guilt, regret, addictions, fear, anxiety,…you name it! We just have to ask,…and let go of some stuff.