Who wants to be owned?

I don’t imagine any of us want to live our lives forever beholden to someone.  If you’ve ever had credit card debt you know the monster of owing.  Yet a scripture in Luke says we are owned by someone, that we are someone’s property.  Thankfully the more we pay, often the better we feel.

Back when Jesus was around he had the religious leaders of the day ticked off but good.  They even sent spies to try and trip him up to discredit and potentially even jail him.  Luke tells it like this.  “So the spies questioned him: “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.  Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”   He saw through their duplicity and said to them, “Show me a denarius. Whose image and inscription are on it?”“Caesar’s,” they replied.   He said to them, “Then give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”  They were unable to trap him in what he had said there in public. And astonished by his answer, they became silent.” Luke 20: 21-26

So, what we are is the property of God just as the legal tender of the day belongs to the government that minted or printed it.  But we’d really rather not think that way, would we?

You work hard for your money.  So do I.  I put in the extra hours, I answer email and phone calls after office hours are long over.  I devote countless hours thinking about work, many subconsciously (that’s why solutions come to me in the shower) and all of this exacts a price.  The money I’m paid, I earned.  But at what price and with what strings?

At the end of the day or days for us, will the dollar have been our master?  Will it have “owned” us?  Sports teams or individual athletes at times are labeled as being “owned” by a rival.  No matter how hard they try that rival always gets the best of them.  That rival always comes out the victor when they go head to head.  Ask anyone who has ever had a nemesis, someone they just couldn’t win against whether in sports or elsewhere and they will tell you what a helpless, fateful feeling it is.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Jesus said we should give what isn’t ours back to whom it belongs to.  That goes for money and it goes for the things of this life that come from God.  And, well, that’s everything folks.  The good news is it doesn’t have to hurt.

When we realize whose we are, when we accept where we came from and we commit to why we’re here things actually get easier.  Far from taking on some yoke of poverty our focus goes from trying to accumulate as much as we can from what we’ve earned to always trying to give from the abundance that we’ve been given.  Our focus goes from the things of this world to the things we can do in this world to live the life that our Father wants for us.  And how can that be bad?

Becoming comfortable being owned by God can take a while but it’s worth it.  It’s something I’d recommend and hope you’re moving that way too.