By Hadyn Sennitt
Owning one's house is something that Australians have long aimed for, and even expected.
It is, for want of a better phrase, the Great Australian Dream. Having your own house gives a sense of security and a sense of community.
Many, however, simply cannot afford a house and that is a bitter pill to swallow. In a world that is quickly becoming less secure and community links are weakening, this issue is posing many problems.
Our TV stations offer little solace: a few nights ago there was a programme on British home renovations, followed by two other such programmes in Australia. One of those was a repeat of a previous episode and all the ads concerned where to purchase home renovation products. For those of us, like me, priced out of the housing market, it's like waving a fish before a starving cat.
All of this, however, poses the question about where we find hope and security. Is it in bricks and mortar? Is it in a career, or family, or more, or all of the above?
The problem with having security in a house is that the one owning, or trying to own it, is victim to other people's behaviour. Prices rise and fall according to supply and demand; interest rate repayments depend on the mood of the Reserve Bank and 'market forces'.
Even when you buy and pay the house off, it can be burned down, broken into, and it falls apart. Upkeep and renovation is costly, laborious, and time-consuming. Worse, some families invest more in the condition of their homes than they do in one another. Instead of having community, they get absorbed in the house.
When Jesus walked this earth He offered a stunning alternative. Profoundly and simply he said, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal" (Matthew 6:19-21).
More to the point, He said, "One's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions" (in Luke 12:15).
Nothing in or on this earth will last because it is all made of matter! But what will last? Eternity with Jesus Christ, and all who put their trust in Him. The well-known John 3, verse 16 tells us, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life".
To have this security we need to seek forgiveness from God for rejecting Him and accepting Jesus Christ as Master and Saviour. He wants to give us abundant everlasting life in Himself, but that can only happen when we let go of our stuff and allow Jesus Christ to control our life. •
Haydn Sennitt is pastor of a church in Georges River, Sydney