The Weight Of Materialism

J. D. Conley
November 26, 2017

The United States of America is the most affluent country in the history of the world. Most Americans have what they need and many what they want More to the point, most Americans have mere than v/hat they need and too much of what they want.

Our Country just completed a day of Thanksgiving, the "horn of plenty" once again overflowed. The day after brought "Black Friday," the numberone shopping day of the year where nearly every dollar spent is geared toward Christmas, a day in which gifts are lavished upon our family and loved ones.

But with all this prosperity comes burdens. The wise and discerning child of God will acknowledge this. Buy a car, you have to insure it, maintain it, keep it licensed etc. It can be scratched, wrecked or stolen. It's this way with every possession. Everything you "own" has the potential to become a burden. This is why many have chosen to "downsize." To be free of possessions is to be free from burden. The weight of materialism is real, and the inordinate desire for acquisition is deadly.

The desire for more and more of this world's goods is something every Christian should be on guard against, but especially in this wealthy nation. The Lord's church in America needs a good dose of Paul's attitude, "I know both how to he abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need" (Phi.4:12). Notice Paul says, "I know how to abound.. J am instructed both to be full and abound." What a lesson for the church today in the United States! When Paul says he knew how to .abound, and be full, he was not referring to finding bargains and eating well. Rather he is addressing what his attitude was regarding prosperity. Paul did not allow the abundance of food and material things to cloud his thinking, and to have priority over all else. He knew how to handle prosperity. He was not materialistic. He was satisfied whether he had plenty or not. Consequently he did not have to lug around the weight of materialism. He knew how to live! The periods of abundance were only occasional in Paul's life. He was without more often than not. But Christians in this country are rarely in destitute situations. Abounding and prospering is common. Can the Lord's people in America today, even members of this congregation say with Paul, "I know how to abound...I am instructed to be full?" This should be our prayer, not only at this time of year but always.

Remember the words of our Lord, "Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth" (Lk.12:15). Being weighed down by materialism will cost us more than all the world, it will cost us our soul (Mt.. 16:26; Lk.12:15ff)!