Sweet Possessions

I have a real fondness for the Puritans. They got so many things right that we moderns need to learn. If you haven’t read The Worldly Saints by Leland Ryken, then I recommend it to you as a great place to start to learn about these remarkable people.

Take for example this quote by Richard Sibbes: “Worldly things are good in themselves and given to sweeten our passage to Heaven” (p. 59). You don’t hear too many Christians today saying that worldly things are good in themselves. We either feel guilty for owning the world’s goods, or we justify owning them as long as we don’t get too much enjoyment from them. The Puritans were not afraid of the world; they knew full well that Jesus is Lord of all.

I particularly like the way this is put, that possessions are given to us by God to sweeten our passage. My wonderful big soft bed certainly sweetens my passage. And my car has a button I can push to warm up the seat (a very sweet deal on cold winter mornings). My coffee maker will grind the beans if I want it to. And my shower is just glorious. Not only does God give us these unmerited blessings, He likes us to enjoy them.

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9 thoughts on “Sweet Possessions

  1. My ten-year-old cousin made me a cozy flannel blanket for Christmas, and I think it may be my favorite gift of all, including those I got from my birthday directly afterward (things like, a camera, jewelry, etc.). It has really struck me with how much God can and loves to bless our souls through simple little material comforts. (You can really tell it’s winter when all of the blessings that first come to our mind have to do with temperature, huh?)

  2. I love that the Lord gives us good things and that He desires us to enjoy them with a glad heart instead of being sourpusses. I don’t think we know God enough. It seems modern Christians have a hard time understanding that most things about this world are “good.” We have a skewed view of God’s Holiness. Somehow we equate God being Holy with God being too “Holy” for this material world. We act more righteous than God. What arrogance!

    I love a lot of things about life. However, I REALLY LOVE that God created cheeseburgers. I just LOVE cheeseburgers and I LOVE creme brulee. And the fact that God can show me His Love in a feast of cheeseburger, creme brulee and a good red wine, well, that just cheers my heart to know how much my Lord loves me. 🙂

  3. I have been enjoying my sweet new camera lens given to me by my husband. The lens itself is useless to me on it’s own. But if it captures the beauty of my family, then my enjoyment greatly increases. Although just a piece of overpriced metal and glass, the camera lens does sweetens my passage and allows me to capture the memories of childhood. However I know there are plenty of worldly possessions in my home that are not being used. Moving them each year with the military may even be robbing me of the enjoyment of the other things I do love and use. I am positive these things could sweeten someone else’s passage which is encouraging me to give more away.

  4. It’s glorious that we have senses to grasp the world, and lots of lovelies to grasp!
    I loveFather Capon’s book celebrating theology and cookery (Supper of the Lamb); and he says that humans lift the world with them to glory.

  5. AMEN! I have read about the first third of Ryken’s book on the puritans, and it IS good. I didn’t know too much about the puritans when I started, and now I am beginning to understand some of their thinking and beliefs and they are a breath of fresh air and good practical thinking based on good Biblical understanding. I want to think like they did and come to right understanding so I too can be a “visible saint” in the true sense.

  6. Thank you for this post! Sometimes it seems like Christians are determined that life needs to be extra hard if they are really serving Christ. Having a child of my own has really shown me the truth that God delights to give us good things. There is nothing that warms my heart more that seeing my son enjoy a gift from me. Obviously, we are to guard our hearts from loving the gifts more than the Giver, but I agree that God delights to see us enjoying the simple gifts He lavishes on us every day. Now, for that cup of coffee with french vanilla creamer!

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