“Materialism -- Understanding What Is Important”
By Don Case
Today, success is often measured by a materialistic standard, where the quantity of one's bank account or stock portfolio is more important than the quality of one's spiritual life. Often, modern men have a clear vision of their secular goals, but a dim vision for spiritual goals. Fame and fortune are common goals, but inwardly it imprisons the spirit. It may be a bitter disappointment to learn that life does not consist in the abundance of things that a man possesses. Many have learned too late that the love of money will not satisfy. Some are so preoccupied with the trivial things that they have forgotten the weightier matter of eternity. The road of materialism is a dead end road because it can cause sleepless anxiety, does not bring happiness, it can easily be lost, it cannot be taken into eternity, and it will not satisfy the soul.
"There is a way that seems right to men..." Materialism seems to fit this, but in the end it is uselessness and brings about utter frustration. There is an illusion that our possessions will completely satisfy us. Jesus told us to watch out and guard ourselves from all kinds of greed because our true life is not made up of the things we own no matter how rich we may be. Paul also warned that we should be satisfied without money if we have enough food and clothing. He also said to stay away from the love of money, and be satisfied with what we have. The secret of contentment in every situation is that we can do everything God asks us to do, with the help of Christ, who gives us the strength and power. Earthly resources are to be used, not selfishly, but unselfishly to help others. Tell those who are rich not to be proud and not to trust in their money which will soon be gone. Their pride and trust should be in the living God who always richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Sin binds us to value material things and it causes us to forget that we are stewards of our possessions and that God alone is the Creator and owner of all things.
MAY WE USE MATERIAL WEALTH SPIRITUALLY
Jesus' Warning: Beware!
Jesus told all of His followers to beware of covetousness and to not think that life is all about the things a person possesses (Luke 12:15). Let each of us be willing to examine ourselves to see whether or not we're living our lives with an attitude of worldliness and greed. If so, we must "reorient" ourselves and keep our focus on Christ. Given the serious consequences of living life without the proper perspective and appropriate respect for what is right, no wonder why our Savior warns us to beware!