Lessons From the Greed of Bilbo Baggins

Call me a nerd, but I am definitely a Lord of the Rings fan. I love the elves, the magical places they go and all the messages that are in each movie. As a kid, I attempted to read the books (I couldn’t make it through of course) and for Halloween, my mom made me an elvish dress, got me some pointy ears, and I was an elf. So yeah, you could say I am a bit of a nerd.

The other evening, I watched The Fellowship of the Ring and for the first time, I noticed a hidden message that pertained to my life. Do you remember Bilbo Baggins? His greed for the one ring was so strong that he would snap at others and show an evil side that he was often times ashamed of. In the movie, he calls the ring “my precious” and it got me thinking, how many material items do we have in our life that we allow to take over our emotions and life? In this idea, I had two thoughts.

First, I am very protective of my belongings and value the things I have worked hard to be able to afford. You could even say that those things have become precious to me. I am so protective that I don’t allow my daughter to touch those things. My husband gave me a necklace for Valentines Day one year. It was a necklace with three hearts on it, representing my husband, myself and our daughter and the bond we shared. My daughter, being the girly princess she is, got into my jewelry box one day and was playing with it. When I realized what she was playing with, I lost it and snapped at her. I became like Bilbo with an evil attitude towards her.

After I realized what I had done and the damage I had caused my daughter, emotionally, I had to stop and reevaluate my actions. I apologized to her and explained why Mommy had become so mean. I explained why the necklace meant so much to me and her little brain clicked and understood immediately. She told me she could play with a different necklace and that Mommy’s necklace was too special to be played with.

If I had just sat down and had a conversation with her rather than reacting the way I did, I would have avoided that situation completely. We often times forget that children understand a lot more than we give them credit for.

Second, How often do we react the same way to God? We tell Him that we want to follow Him but don’t want to surrender what is most precious to us. We allow our material items to take away from our time with the Lord. Instead of spending more time in His word, we desire to spend more time on our phones because we value them so much.

I have tried to devote a lot of my time to God’s word and prayer. I want Him to use the process of sanctification to change me into the Christian He wants me to be. Often times, that is a hard task to do during the week because I want to come home, have dinner and veg out in front of the TV or on my phone. I value those objects more than I value my time with the Lord and often times finish the evening feeling incomplete but as soon as someone mentions turning off the TV and opening my Bible at the end of the night, I turn into the evil side of Bilbo Baggins. I get greedy and mean and shove other things in front of my relationship with the Lord.

Without that time in God’s word, that sanctification process cannot continue and God cannot work in my life. It may be a lesson I have to continuously learn for the rest of my life, but it is definitely a lesson that needs to be learned. Allow yourself to put your desires and precious objects aside to spend more time with the Lord and more time with our family. Don’t let greed rot your heart because no one likes looking like the evil side of Bilbo Baggins.

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