Everybody says they need just one thing. What they really mean is they need just one thing more. – Rich Mullins


Materialism is one of the most deadly diseases I know. It can eat you alive at the very moment you think things are going along wonderfully. When we acquire outward trappings and the “ideal image,” we often neglect the deeper issues of life, faith, character, integrity, and a desire to love God and others. We soon would rather look good than be good. In the end the things that we acquire can turn on us and threaten our souls. In Luke 9:25 Jesus asked His disciples, “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?” I like to paraphrase that verse as, “It would be really stupid if you were to live your life gaining all the things the world has to offer and then lose your life forever. If the temporary things of this world come between you and the eternal God of heaven, you’d be a fool to spend your life pursuing those things.

The pursuit of things is a deadly battleground of the heart. Painfully and slowly I’ve had to learn that I need to hold very loosely to what I “own.” And it still isn’t an easy thing for me to do. When I hold onto something I’ve cherished and long felt that I needed, I may loosen my grip only one painfully pried finger at a time. But only when I release that grip do I begin to true peace and direction. St. Augustine once said, “Our hearts are restless until we find rest in thee.” When you feel pain and emptiness, be assured that these things can never be satisfied with things or status. These are cheap imitations for what ails us, for our restless hearts only find rest in the One who forgives, redeems, and provides perfectly.

Excerpted from The God of Second Chances by Steve Arterburn