What Are We Doing With Our Excess?

Do you and I have boxes of stuff we haven’t looked at in years?  Do we have closets full of clothes that don’t fit us anymore?

Are we just letting all this ‘stuff’ sit there and accumulate?

God tells us what he wants us to do with our excess in Deuteronomy 24: 19 &20. “When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it.  Leave it for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.  When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time.  Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow.”

This was unheard of at that time.  The farmers went over all their fields twice so they could keep the entire harvest for themselves.  Every.little.bit.of.it.

God wanted to make it clear to everyone that the Israelites were different – they were his.  One of the ways he did this was by creating laws to protect the weak, the poor and strangers.  Nobody else had laws like this.

The majority of us don’t have crops…..but we have a lot of ‘stuff’.

What are we doing with our excess stuff?

What does God tell us he would like us to do with it?  Are there poor people or strangers or widows who could benefit if we cleaned out our garages, sheds and closets?

I’ve never had the urge to keep a lot of stuff.   I’m on the minimalist end of the spectrum – always parked 2 cars in a 2 car garage, don’t like clutter.  Most of my adult life I have taken the time each year to go through each box and every closet in my house to purge things I haven’t used.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t have any extra ‘stuff’.  I have moved several times in the last 10 years so I am very aware of how much stuff I actually have.

I moved out of state a year ago and I decided to be extremely critical of what I packed because this was the first time in my life I was putting anything into storage and it would have to stay there until we got a place to live.  So I not only gave away things I hadn’t used in the last year, I also gave away things I had only used once or twice in the last year.  Sure – I might be able to use whatever it is ‘someday’ but could I find it when I wanted to use it?  And, most of the time, I still have something that works fine as a substitute.

It’s a year later and I don’t miss any of it.  It makes me smile to know that someone else is using all that stuff rather than having it packed into my house, taking up space and gathering dust.

It was all excess.

Please help us be generous with our excess, Abba Father.

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