God owns everything and yet he chooses to invest it all in others because God designed and uses the ownership secret.
Leadership requires understanding and leveraging the ownership secret.
Success and fulfillment in work and in life is a result of the ownership secret.
Intimacy and trust, satisfaction and connection, love and support in relationships and more all originate in the ownership secret.
The list goes on.
The ownership secret is at the most fundamental level of empowerment, action, and accomplishment. It is intrinsic to your emotional, mental, and spiritual expression, experience, and choice and flows from there into every other aspect of your internal and external life.
Integrity, character, core values, faith, identity, and more all find their root in the ownership secret.
So, what is the ownership secret?
It’s no secret that you own things.
It’s no secret that others own things.
It’s no secret that you can acquire or disperse things or transfer ownership in any number of ways through trade, gifts, or other exchanges.
It’s no secret that ownership can be binary or a spectrum, single-party or multi-party.
It’s no secret that you can own things you love and desire to keep and that you can own things you despise and would like to dispose of.
It’s no secret that you succeed when you use well the things you own and that you fail when you use them poorly.
It’s no secret that if you steal, defraud, or otherwise deal unjustly with others and violate their ownership rights that, that approach destroys relationships, removes trust, and compromises any success you might have been pursuing.
It’s no secret that understanding ownership and using ownership and taking ownership and giving ownership — investing, lending, giving, taking, earning, saving, restoring, and every other action taken around ownership are fundamental to goodness, blessing, victory, success, prosperity, health, peace, and joy.
The list goes on — who owns something, how it is owned, and what is done with it are the central descriptors of every interaction, every relationship, and every context you find yourself in every day.
Tomes can and have been written on how to structure ownership, use ownership, and invest ownership wisely and well. The difference between the first and third worlds is largely defined by ownership and how it is granted in those contexts. The difference between rich and poor, abundance and lack, favor and despair, blessing and defeat, and more can all be described in terms of ownership. Developing skills around negotiation, management, listening, leadership, collaboration, team building, intimacy, relationship, connection, romance, love, trust, confidence, inspiration, encouragement, support, care, compassion, mercy, grace, salvation, and more all relate to the experience and use of ownership.
So, what is the ownership secret?
Jesus hinted at it when He said,
“A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.” – Matthew 7
How is a tree defined? It is defined by what it owns. You are that tree. You are defined by what you own — not by what happens to you or what you experience, but by what you take away from it and hold onto as your own.
That can sound pretty oppressive, depending on what you find yourself holding onto today, and so the second part of the ownership secret is that Jesus wanted to make clear that you always have a choice about what you own, which is why He said,
““You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. So if your eye—even your good eye —causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your hand—even your stronger hand —causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” – Matthew 5
This extremely stark statement was intended to be a striking example (and I think He definitely achieved that) of the fact that you always have a choice. Now, if you consider carefully what Jesus said here, the “if” in His statement indicates clearly that Jesus has no intention or desire to endorse or command maiming yourself or anyone else as your hand or your eye could never be the cause of your action. So, when He says, ” if your eye—even your good eye —causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away” or “if your hand—even your stronger hand —causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away” He is making the point that you always have a choice of what you own and what controls you. So, whatever you find controlling you today — addictions, failures, poor values, inaccurate beliefs, etc — you have a choice about whether to continue to empower these things, or to walk away, let them go, and acquire a new approach, a new belief, a new set of values, a new relationship, and everything else that God has promised for you.
So, in summary, the ownership secret is two-fold:
- You are owned by what you own.
- You always have a choice about what you own.
If you choose to acquire and retain God’s favor, God’s gifts, God’s blessings, God’s will, God’s promises, God’s goodness, God’s answers, God’s love, God’s grace, God’s salvation, and God’s life then you will be successful, healthy, whole, and fulfilled in ways beyond your biggest and best dreams.
If, on the other hand, you choose to acquire and retain the enemy’s lies, dysfunctional beliefs, unhealthy values, evil approach, fraudulent answers, inaccurate perspective, addictive behaviors, hatred, violence, malice, and so on, then you will be defeated, oppressed, and enslaved by the very things you are choosing to hold onto.
“But,” you may say, “I’m not responsible for everything that I own! A lot of my baggage came from my parents, my family, my friends, my boss, my coworkers, my experiences, my culture, my religion, my neighborhood, my situation, and everyone else who has come into my life whether I wanted them to or not! Surely you aren’t saying that it’s as easy as just trading my baggage in for God’s blessings?”
The reason Jesus used such a stark example of owning a body part when describing the fact that you always have a choice in what you own was because He wanted to make it extremely clear that while you always have a choice, choosing what you will own and what you will dispose of is definitely not always going to be easy — simple maybe, but not easy.
So, take an inventory — acknowledge and identify what you own both good and bad. Start using your choice more specifically, intentionally, and universally to acquire God’s goodness and blessings and to dispose of the enemy’s presence, influence, and access to your life.
Use to your advantage the great ownership secret — that you are owned by what you own, because you know that God has guaranteed and promised you the choice to acquire everything that He has to offer and dispose of and exchange everything else.
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and He will give you everything you need. So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.” – Luke 12