You shall not steal
Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven...where thieves do not break in and steal
Last Saturday we had the unfortunate discovery of pieces of bike lock in our garage. Yep, they were cut. Gone with the bikes were our camping supplies, the shop vac, and other tools.
And I was upset. Upset that someone would come into our garage and take things that people had given to us as gifts, upset that we had tried to get renters insurance just days before but couldn't because of some of the electrical "features" of our house, upset that we barely got to use these things, and on top of that, upset with us for somehow becoming fairly attached to things we definitely didn't need to live, and can be replaced (Coleman stoves are pretty cool, but they are not a homemade family heirloom). Nate's family is in Louisiana right now helping people whose possessions and homes were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Life without a good place to live has got to be a lot harder than life without a nice set of pruners and clippers from Ace Hardware.
So, we have taken and are taking reasonable steps to keep "our" things safer. I had always thought of stewardship as buying what's on sale, tithing, and investing time and money wisely, but could stewardship mean leaving lights and music on (we did that before, too), trying to get insurance, or maybe even --as the sheriff suggested-- putting up stickers that say "smile, you're being videotaped" around our home? When do these actions cross the border from stewardship to selfish paranoia?
Are we wrong to own, appreciate, and protect our well-designed computers, good quality sleeping bags, and luxury vehicles (...please think of our rusty truck and notice the somewhat humorous point in my otherwise serious post). I don't think any of these things is inherently wrong. But this week has shown me that it is hard to possess much with a pure heart. And that compared to managing possessions, I probably spend far too little effort storing up treasures in heaven.