Don’t collect for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But collect for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Matthew 6:19-21

Materialism Tears Down Character

In our modern society, we need money to live, but we should never make the acquisition of money the central focus of our lives. Money is a tool, but it should never overwhelm our sensibilities. The focus of life must be squarely on things spiritual, not things material.

Whenever we become absorbed with the acquisition of things, complications arise. Each new acquisition costs money or time, often both. To further complicate matters, many items can be purchased, not with real money, but with something much more insidious: debt. Debt—especially consumer debt used to purchase depreciating assets—is a modern-day form of indentured servitude.

If you’re looking for a sure-fire, time-tested way to simplify your life and thereby improve your world, learn to control your possessions before they control you. Purchase only those things that make a significant contribution to your well-being and the well-being of your family. Never spend more than you make. Understand the folly in buying consumer goods on credit. Never use credit cards as a way of financing your lifestyle.

Ask yourself this simple question: “Do I own my possessions, or do they own me?” If you don’t like the answer you receive, make an iron-clad promise to stop acquiring and start divesting. As you simplify your life, you’ll be amazed at the things you can do without. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the sense of satisfaction that accompanies your new-found moderation. And you’ll understand first-hand that when it comes to material possessions, less truly is more.

So, if you find yourself wrapped up in the concerns of the material world, it’s time to reorder your priorities by turning your thoughts and your prayers to more important matters. And, it’s time to begin storing up riches that will endure throughout eternity: the spiritual kind.

Materialism Made Simple: The world wants you to believe that “money and stuff ” can buy happiness. Don’t believe it! Genuine happiness comes not from money, but from the things that money can’t buy—starting, of course, with your relationship to God and His only begotten Son.

– Steve Arterburn

When possessions become our god, we become materialistic and greedy . . . and we forfeit our contentment and our joy. – Charles Swindoll