Materialism is an attitude, it makes you seek after things that are temporary and don’t add any value to your life in the long run. Love of worldly things, money and pleasure are examples. You begin to value things more than people, you put yourself over others and money becomes a key driver in your life.
Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him
– 1 John 2:15
At any point when your earthly desires and your love of things begin to come in between your life and the Will of God, and when things start taking you away from God you are falling into the trap of materialism.
… know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God
– James 4:4
It is not wrong to be prosperous but it is wrong to have your priorities messed up. When you love things in the world and if that comes in between you and God, you can be sure its materialism. Things like obsessive shopping, spending too much time on worldly things like TV, movies, surfing the web or undue attention to fashion, mobile phones etc are signs of materialism
The solution to get rid of materialism is to renew your mind with the Word of God.
You have to realize that all worldly things are temporary and cannot satisfy you. The only thing that can truly satisfy is a relationship with God
There was once a young man who came to Jesus and asked Him “Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?”. Most of us would consider this person a ripe candidate for preaching the Gospel to, and would grab this opportunity with both hands, in fact this is a common question that many people even today have.
Jesus however knew what was in the man’s heart. He did what most of us would find very strange. He answered saying “Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God”. He goes on to ask this man to keep the commandments of God. This is shocking to most of us, we today know that He is the way, The truth and the eternal life that this young man was looking for, yet Jesus did not answer his question directly.
The young man then answered that he kept the commandments of God from his youth, he wanted to know what else is needed for eternal life. Jesus replied “go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me”. At this point the young man was very disappointed, with a sorrowful heart he walked away.
Jesus knew deep down that this man was wealthy, although he loved God his love for the world was much greater. He was willing to let go of little things but his heart was really tied to his material possessions and deep down he was not prepared to let go of the worldly things. Jesus then used this example to come up with the famous saying
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God
– Matthew 19:24
We have a tendency to go after material goods and earthly riches, even though we know they are temporary and drive us away from God. Remember God can see our hearts and He knows our deepest desires.
- Make efforts and keep away from things that distract you and take away your focus from God
- Always ask how does something profit you before you spend time or money on it
- Renew your mind by reading the Bible
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