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Author Randy Alcorn penned a column this week about the perils of materialism.
A lot of people in the church struggle with this issue. On one hand, nothing can be accomplished without money. Money buys resources. Money pays salaries. Money builds hospitals and churches. Money buys influence and pays for people’s basic needs
All of us need money.
On the other hand, some people think just by claiming faith in Christ, that he will provide an abundant life consisting of nice homes, fat bank accounts, fancy cars, incredible vacations, and a wealth of material blessings.
Many of the heroes in the Bible were men of great wealth. David, Moses, Job and Abraham are just a few that come to mind.
The reality is that money often changes people. For that reason, Jesus talks frequently about money. Why? It’s a heart issue.
When people are wealthy, they generally adopt an attitude of self-reliance. They don’t need God because they have everything they need for a good life. They feel secure in their abundance.
But, Jesus calls them “fools” in Luke 12:13-21.
People without an abundance of money adopt an attitude of total reliance upon God. They rest on the promise of 2 Corinthians 9:8, which assures us “God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
Perhaps that is why Jesus warns us twice in Luke 16:13 and Matthew 6:24 that “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
There is nothing wrong with having nice things. But, God expects us to treat his stream of blessings like a river where money flows through us to aid others and support his kingdom.
He never expects us to dam that stream to create a reservoir for our own enjoyment.
I found Randy Alcorn’s column 10 Ways Materialism Brings People to Ruin to be worth the time to read it.