“I told my mother-in-law that my house was her house, and she said, 'Get the hell off my property.'”
–Joan Rivers, comedian
North America has quite the fascination for large, beautiful, and fancy homes. Celebrity homes are featured in magazines and TV shows like MTV Cribs all the time. Home renovation shows plague the evening hours. We gape at large houses when passing by fancy neighborhoods. Viewing big and fancy homes is fascinating because perhaps deep down inside, we also want something just like that. It’s all part of the American Dream (see post here). But there can be intrinsic issues with getting a large house that we need to be aware of. And if we’re not careful, there can be major implications for how we will go about completing the mission Jesus assigned to us—the mission of making disciples.
The first issue of a large house is financial in nature—money. Getting a large house can be quite expensive especially if you live in a pricey city. A person can easily put themselves in a financial bind by tying themselves down to a long and winding mortgage. That then affects how generous and sacrificial they can be in serving others, giving to those in need, and moving God’s kingdom forward.
The second issue is related to the first. If a person gets a large house, they will probably fill that large house with all kinds of stuff. TVs. Furniture. Appliances. Electronic gadgets. And if you’re the fancy type, you might go for the expensive stuff too. Add it all together and a person can bind their financial resources even more. Worst, they might find themselves in surmounting debt, which is not an uncommon occurrence in North America.
The third and last issue is related to the first two. If a person gets a large house and with a ton of stuff in it, they would now have to make use of all that stuff. They can easily find themselves spending more time at home playing with all their stuff rather than going into the world and serving God and making disciples. So not only does one bind their financial resources but they also bind their time as well. And before they know it, they’re no longer engaging in the things that greatly matter to God.
Although I can’t say it’s wrong to own a large house (and there may be good kingdom reasons to do so), I can say that there are issues and implications that we need to be aware of. Binding our time and resources can greatly affect our participation in advancing God’s kingdom. This is unfortunate because completing the mission that Jesus entrusted to us is of utmost importance to who we are as believers and as a body of Christ. As I’ve mentioned before, perhaps it’s important for us to consider abandoning the American Dream in favor of being and doing all that God has called us to (see post here).