The Hebrew word "ba'al" means master or possessor. Ba'al worship was often in contention with Yahweh throughout Israel's history.
When a rich ruler inquired about eternal life, Jesus mentions the commandments then He tells him to sell his possessions:
"He said to him, 'You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.'” (Luke 18:22)
When talking to His disciples, Jesus says, "Sell your possessions and give to the poor." (Luke 12:32)
The good Samaritan gave away his possessions, to include his time, oil, wine, transportation, housing and money to help his naked, beaten and needy neighbor:
"A Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'" (Luke 10:33-35)
The early Church was quite selfless with their possessions:
"No one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common." (Acts 4:32)
In Canto VII of the Divine Comedy, the fourth circle of Hell was reserved for the avaricious and prodigal. Dante observes as each group pushed weights opposite directions in a ringed ditch until crashing into each other, turning around and repeating the process for eternity:
"They clashed together, and then at that point
Each one turned backward, rolling retrograde,
Crying, 'Why keepest?' and, 'Why squanderest thou?'"
Even the nature of color and light can teach us something about possessions. With light, black absorbs all colors and white reflects all colors. White is selfless, giving away all colors and it is seen as white. Black hoards all colors. It possesses. It is a selfish thing. And it is black.
The Christmas season and spirit of giving that accompanies this time of year is upon us. I think this is good, but it should be a year round lifestyle for those who claim the name of Christ. There is a common thread that runs throughout all of the things mentioned above and it is selflessness and a spirit of giving. Jesus said, that He had come to give us life and to give it abundantly, but first we have to give away our lives. "Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it." (Matthew 10:39)
"Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of Mine, you did for Me." (Matthew 25:40)