By UDEME ARCHIBONG
Richard Foster observes, “Just the very act of letting go of money, or some other treasure, does something within us. It destroys the demon greed.”
Materialism is a subtle trap which lures and entices people sentencing them to a life-time of bondage. When stuff owns you, you own fleeting pleasures and lose the joy of living. When you own stuff, you own the freedom of self control in exercising dominion to be the master of self in order to be more, do more, have more and give more. Materialism cannot fill the vacuum of emotional and spiritual needs instead it deepens and widens the void plunging into an ever-increasing obsession which turns the state of life into a miserable state. When stuff controls your thinking and life, you become controlled by myopic thoughts and live a shallow life. There are no real gains of selfish living only a life filled with losses and outpouring in destiny wreckage.
To live free of materialism, you must think distribution rather than possession, think contribution rather than recognition. Those who are on the winning lane of life are on the giving ride. Cease to let people own you and seize the opportunity in giving your love away. Liberate yourself from being controlled by the gifts of others and become a gift to the world. Give without keeping score but keep score when you receive from others. Give with no strings attached but receive with strings of gratitude and a good turn attached. Seize every opportunity you have to give in all your relationships and you will never cease from having fulfilling relationships.
Never measure success with the scale of fame, money, position, possession rather measure success with the scale of love-the value you create for others and the influence you’ve made in the lives of others. Measure success by the extent of your giving rather than by the content of your receiving. Jesus rightly states, “It’s more blessed to give than to receive.” The Bible also says, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” It is worthy to note the words “seedtime” and “harvest”. This invariably implies if we can seize every given opportunity of time to sow seeds in the lives of others, we will always keep our harvest coming in because there is no harvest time. The farmer is aware that if he does not plant seed, he will not have any harvest. And the farmer is also aware that the kind of seed planted will be the kind of harvest he will receive. Be seed conscious and you will automatically attract harvest. Measure success by the seeds you’ve sown because that will determine the quantity and quality of harvest you receive. You can never expect a harvest from life when you’ve not sown seeds in the lives of others. When you sow abundantly, you reap abundantly. When you sow sparingly, you reap sparingly. Never stop sowing to check how much you have received lest you stop the harvest growth and flow. Just be aware that as long as you are seed conscious-consistently sowing quality seeds in the lives of others you automatically trigger continual harvest. Therefore, resolve to always strive to make a difference in the lives of people and you will always activate the flow of harvest towards you.
To lead a life of relevance, you must live a life of committed self development. To add value to others you must first add value to yourself. To make a quality contribution you must make adequate preparation-you must develop and improve yourself. To give more you must be more. When you cease from developing and improving yourself, you cease from living a life of contribution. You never make a difference in life when you are indifferent towards self development. Make personal growth a constant in your life. Make learning a vital part of your life. Deepen your knowledge base, refine your skills, expand your creativity; keep growing, keep improving on yourself and your capability and you will keep on being relevant. Keep growing and you will never cease giving.
True riches opens up to the best version of yourself. Thus, keep working to consistently improve on the best version of you and the world will benefit from you having lived.
The key to true riches is within your reach. Will you reach for it and use it?