Should Christians Sell Their Possessions & Live Like Paupers?

The Bible tells us multiple times how important it is to give up everything for God. Jesus even calls us to see the importance of giving up our families and relationships to come to a personal relationship with Him.

Throughout his time on Earth, Jesus makes it very clear that riches should be stored in Heaven, not during this lifetime. He makes several references to rich men and poor men and tells us exactly how we’re supposed to give up everything for Him.

In Luke, Jesus gives us a specific picture of his concern for the poor. Luke chapter 6 states, “Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the Kingdom of God”.

So, while the Bible makes it fairly clear that we aren’t to turn our possessions into idols, what does that really mean for how we should live our daily lives? Should you give up everything and become a missionary? Should you get rid of the things you don’t need to feel closer to God? Or, should you downsize and sell your possessions so you can give to the poor?

Giving Up Your Most Prized Possessions for Christ

God wants to give you good things. But, God does make it clear that you need to store your treasures in Heaven, not on Earth. When you hold on too tightly to the things of this world, it makes it more difficult to form a strong, healthy relationship with Christ.

Many people assume the Bible thinks money is the root of all evil, but that isn’t exactly true. While I Timothy makes it clear that a love of money is wrong, money itself isn’t necessarily the problem. In fact, it can do a lot of good, depending on how you use it. If you’re feeling convicted about your possessions, one way to show the love of Christ is to give to others and go where you’re feeling called. Sometimes, that can involve selling the things you own.

One fairly easy thing to get rid of is a vehicle. This is especially true if you live in a city with public transportation. But, even if you don’t, think about your absolute need for a car. There are plenty of other ways to get around, from riding a bicycle to using a ride sharing app. By selling your car, not only are you letting go of a possible “idol” in your life, but you can likely make several thousand dollars that could be used to further God’s kingdom. You might even consider donating your vehicle to a worthy cause, or to someone who needs it. Even “junk” cars are worth money, and there are many companies who will give you cash for old, broken vehicles so they can use the parts and metal.

The biggest thing a person could give up is usually their home. That’s a tough decision to make, and it’s not necessarily the right one for everyone. But, if you feel you’re being called in a different direction, there are several options for “letting go” of your house. You could rent out your home, and use the monthly income toward something worthwhile. But, renting comes with a lot of responsibilities and risks. As a landlord, you would be in charge of repairs, insurance issues, and any complaints. You also need to be aware of local and federal laws.

Selling your home is a big commitment, but if you decide it’s the right option for you, consider all the good you could end up doing with the profit you make, and all of the options that will be open to you when it comes to traveling, relocating, or getting something smaller.

A Life Worth Living

Selling off your stuff or getting rid of most of it is only half of the equation. Works are necessary for every Christian. While your salvation isn’t solely based on your “good deeds,” it’s important, as Christ followers, to show others the picture of God. One of the best ways to do that is through good works. When you have the means to do that financially, or through traveling to other parts of the world, you’re reflecting the love of Christ. Selling your home or car might give you the opportunity to go on a missionary trip, or relocate to a country where God isn’t necessarily at the center.

As people, we have the ability to see other perspectives in the world. Whether this is an evolutionary skill or something that humans have always innately harbored, we can see the things that should be done, and we can empathize with those who need God in their lives. As followers of Christ, letting go of your possessions can make that not only easier to recognize but easier to act upon.

God created everyone for a great purpose. Unfortunately, money and things often tie us down so much that we don’t get the chance to really understand what that purpose is. We’re easily blinded by our own “stuff”. Letting go of it can help you to take that first step toward a life worth living. It might not seem easy at first, but it could be the best way to find freedom and strengthen your relationship with God.

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