The nature of materialism is deceptive. Jesus said in Mark 4:18-19, “Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.”
- If you believe that the endless accumulation of possessions will lead to a fulfilling life, you’ve been deceived. The truth is: Possessions over-promise and under-deliver (Jeremiah 2:13). Material possessions boast “I will make you happy. I will make you fulfilled.” But they fail to deliver. Jeremiah 2:13, “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” Material possessions are like broken cisterns. They can never truly fill you up. They will always leave you empty.
- If you believe that accumulating more stuff will quench your thirst for more, you’ve been deceived. The truth is: The more you get the more you want (Ecclesiastes 5:10). Acquiring material possessions is a lot like drinking sea water. The more you drink the thirstier you become. By drinking deep of material possessions you don’t quench your thirst for more, you intensify it. Ecclesiastes 5:10 says, “Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.” Simply put: The more you have, the more you want!
- If you believe you’re in control as you purchase more and more and more, you’ve been deceived. The truth is: You think you own your possessions, when in reality they own you (1 Corinthians 6:12). What happens when we don’t rectify our materialism? The basic laws of physics give us the answer: The greater the mass, the greater the hold that mass exerts. This explains why the largest planets are capable of holding so many satellites in orbit. Similarly, the more things we own – the greater their total mass – the more they grip us, hold us, set us in orbit around them. Is there anything wrong with owning possessions? No! It just becomes wrong when they own you. The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 6:12, “I have the right to do anything…but not everything is beneficial. I have the right to do anything, but I will not be mastered by anything.” If your possessions serve you, then you’re good. But if you serve your possessions, you’re in trouble because they have become your master – and that’s a position only God should hold in your life.
- If you believe that God blesses you so you can indulge your every whim and desire, you’ve been deceived. The truth is that only a materialistic mindset Leads you to believe God gives us more to increase our standard of living, not our standard of giving. Luke 12:16-21 In the parable of the rich man in Luke 12:16-21 God called the man a fool who hoarded everything he had, as if God had given it to him just so he could hoard it for himself. The Bible teaches that we are blessed to be a blessing, not to selfishly hoard all God gives us for ourselves. When we receive blessing after blessing without ever being a blessing to others, we become toxic. When I was in Israel I took a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee which is teaming with life. I also took a swim in the Dead Sea, which cannot support life because of it’s high salt content. Why is one full of life and one dead? Well, the Sea of Galilee both receives water and gives water. The Dead Sea on the other hand only receives but does not give out. You see, when we only receive but don’t give we become toxic.