“Don’t accumulate possessions, accumulate experiences! More specifically, accumulate the kind of experience that can only come from following in the footsteps of Jesus.”- Mark Batterson (emphasis author’s)
“You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion and through us you generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”- 2 Corinthians 9:11 (NIV)
Mark Batterson concludes Chapter 11 of Double Blessing as he relates that, over time, many words lack their original meaning or take on new connotations. For example, the word flirt once meant “to flick away.” And the word naughty used to mean “having nothing.”
Above all, the word blessed provides a classic example of how words morph. Because, in many ways, our culture reduces blessed to a hashtag. As a result, #blessed comes across as humblebrag. In addition, Mark contends, the more exotic the place or expensive the thing, the more we devalue the original idea of blessing. So, Mark explains the Greek word for blessed:
“The word makarios means ‘joy without measure.’ It’s also translated ‘as good as it gets.’ which I interpret to mean ‘beyond blessed’ or ‘blessed beyond.’ But perhaps the simplest definition — and the least common denominator — is good old-fashioned happiness. Happiness isn’t something we get. Happiness is something we give.”
However, the author asserts, many people pursue happiness the wrong way. It has nothing to do with what we receive. Instead, it’s the by-product of what we give.
In conclusion, Mark references the cautionary tale of the Rich Young Ruler (Matthew 19:16-22). Possessed by his possessions, the Rich Young Ruler lived for himself. And when you live for yourself, sooner or later you lose yourself. For the Rich Young Ruler tied his self-worth to his net worth.
Yet, Mark believes, we focus too much on the actual cost of what Jesus asked the young man to give. Rather, we need to look at what Jesus offered in exchange — a three-year internship with the Son of God. The blessing of a lifetime.
Today’s question: What helps you to not accumulate possessions, but experiences? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The grace of giving – only one way to grow”