And when (people) stop being afraid they rediscover their compassion.
~Barbara Wilberforce in Amazing Grace
Jesus tell us in Luke 12:32, “Fear not, little flock…” What instruction follows his words telling us to be unafraid? “Sell your possessions, and give to the needy.” Hmmm…do you suppose He knew that we might develop some anxiety or fear over selling our possessions?!
In selling some of my possessions, I’ve experienced some separation anxiety, but have also found it to be a bit like ripping off a bandaid. For just a moment, it stings. And then… relief! I’ve found two things to be helpful in this process:
1. A good cheerleader. I have several friends who have gone before me, who have cheered for me as I parted with “a few of my favorite things.”
2. An eternal perspective. I can’t keep it anyway, right?! In fact, Jesus pointed to this eternal perspective right after telling us to be unafraid. “for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Ah, so I can sell my things here and give to those in need… without suffering any loss! He has promised me his kingdom.
We’re told in Acts 2:45 that after they received the gift of the Holy Spirit, they were selling their possessions and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.
And then, the best part…
In Acts 4:34, we’re told that so much grace was upon them, that as a result of all the believers selling their possessions, “There was not a needy person among them.“
Oh, God, give us that grace.