Satan’s Winning Strategy: Materialism

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  1. Yvonne says:

    I like your post Ryan. We talked of similar things at bible study this week.

    I struggle though with the difference between … materialism, coveting and just simply wanting/enjoying something. Having, wanting or wishing for “things” is not wrong … or is it? How does that fit in with saving up for something?


    • cecile says:

      The money we receive is God’s money given to us to be used wisely. If we make THAT our starting point, it will certainly affect our choices in all aspects of life and cause us to think deeper…are we spending for the here and now or for eternity?

    • In Romans 12:2 Paul tells us…”Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Coveting is idolatry. Coveting is an unholy desire for something, not necessarily only material. the Bible speaks of coveting your neighbour’s wife, which would be lust, coveting your neighbour’s house, which would be jealousy, envy and materialistic. Wanting things is not in its self evil, i want the best for my kids, a roof over their heads, clothes on their backs, but when it becomes all consuming…when i want my neighbour’s house for my kids then it wrong. Saving up for things is not wrong either, depending on what it is of course. If we are saving everything, building our barn only for ourselves so to speak, then we have reassess what our priorities are.

  2. cecile says:

    “Live simply so others can simply live.”

  3. Darren says:

    In the strictest sense, Materialism is “preoccupation with or emphasis on material objects, comforts, and considerations, with a disinterest in or rejection of spiritual, intellectual, or cultural values.”

    Anything that we set above the things that really matter (ie. God, family) then becomes materialistic. Using the line of things of money alone, buying things on credit cards or that are outside of your allotted budget, or at the expense of Church/monthly living expenses, becomes sin. This isn’t to say credits cards (in particular) are wrong, but is to highlight the importance of the budget itself and to have a plan with your money. Spending frivolously without regard to impact of said spending is materialistic. Having a goal with your savings (if you have any!) reduces the ‘materialism’ affect.

    But this also is relevant to our time. How many of us have stayed home instead of Bible Study, watched a movie rather than spend time with our loved ones, or at the expense of sleep which hinders our jobs and our moods the next day.

  4. A very good lesson if only the younger generation would heed this advice….We too have in years gone by fallen prey to the ‘credit card’ concept….Diane

  5. doulanic says:

    Again, another great post! I agree with Cecile – live simply so others can live. At the end of the day, once again, it comes down to recognizing that everything belongs to God. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy life. (as long as it doesn’t involve debt, frivolity at the expense of what matters) But we need to put God first …we need to make sure our responsibilities are taken care of. We can certainly save up for something that makes sense. Even vacations. One thing I’ve learned is that it is important to take care of your self – restoration of body and soul. God has blessed us all tremendously. Let’s use it to God’s glory. Soli Deo Gloria!

  6. doulanic says:

    Oh and Randy Alcorn’s book “Money, Possessions and Eternity” is an excellent read! Highly recommended for a Biblical view point.

  7. Kurt Sims says:

    I wish more people would accept this teaching of Jesus, but unfortunately most try to rationalize their material desires even after reading this. See some of the comments for examples. As long as there are people in need, we are to help them instead of spending money and time on worldly goods and things. It’s sad how many Christians (almost all) ignore Jesus when it comes to worldly goods.

    • Hi Kurt, thank you for your comment. Sometimes we forget what being a Christian is all about. It is about loving God and our neighbour because He first loved us and sent his son to die in our place while we were yet sinners. In fact we are called to suffer, not to a life of comfort, for the sake of Jesus. We are called to use our talents for God’s Glory and our neighbours benefit…not our own financial gain. And if we are successful in finances then we are to use that as well to God’s glory and our neighbours benefit, not the building of our barns. Sadly the values of this world are seeping into the church and this is nothing new…

      Most Christians would not defend pornography or murder or sexual immorality, but they will defend the idols of materialism, individualism, gluttony and relativism and so on…and that pleases Satan just fine.

      Now with that said we all grow in our sanctification by the Holy Spirit at different rates, and some of us, myself for instance, take some time to realize how far we are missing the mark with certain sin. So while it is prudent to admonish out of love when we recognize sin in someone, it is good that we also encourage and uplift our brothers and sisters in Christ in the things they succeed in. When they overcome struggles and sins by the power of the spirit, as they advance in their discipleship… and so on.