Materialism is a tendency to consider material possessions and physical comfort as more important than spiritual values.
It is a mindset-luring trap, that blinds us into seeing physical desires as a priority over other essential needs.
The Bible doesn’t stand against luxury and what this world has to offer. Instead, it’s the entanglement that binds us to a point that we cannot glorify God.
When money and riches take much of your attention and time, compared to the time you spend with God and God-related matters, then you’re a victim of materialism.
To easily understand materialism, think of it – as “worshipping” the blessings instead of the blesser.
Any business-oriented people, unlike employees, tend to put their trust and confidence on what they’ve invested on. Investments gain value as time goes by. True to the phrase, “time is money“.
Though most of these investments are earthly, their temporal nature translates them as vain pursuits.
As part of the working class, we spend at least a third of a day’s share – dedicated to seeking financial profits – necessary for our livelihood, but some other mini-goals of financial freedom and accumulating wealth.
How to escape materialism
Given that our weak nature in avoiding temptations is what causes us to fall into the “love of money”, to win this fight we ought to be equipped well enough. Here are three ways to achieve this:
- 1 Timothy 6:6 – “…godliness with contentment is great gain”
- 1 Timothy 6:8-10 – But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
The world in general is a materialistic society, regardless of country or race. When Paul wrote the above warning, his concern was for the believers not to fall into the traps of a materialistic mindset.
Contentment and the happiness of satisfaction is not defined by having all our wants supplied, but by minimizing our desires to simply include life’s essentials. Living right based on Godliness and having a contented spirit sums up the life of a satisfied beliver.
- Hebrews 11:25-26 – By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.
- 1 John 2:17 – The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
Moses had every chance to choose a life of treasures and luxuries, inclusive of being a resident in the Pharaoh’s palace, dining with the royals, dressing in fine linens, getting pampered, etc, but He chose against such pleasures.
Train up your mind to perceive the world and all of its comforts as fleeting temporal enticements. Our lives on earth are short and when our time is up, everything we accumulated will be left down here too.
- 1 Timothy 6: 17 – Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
As constant is our God is; we can’t equate him to the world and its wealth. So, choosing to set our trust on God and God-related investments over the earthly businesses, is the appropriate thing to do, if we are serious about escaping the materialism trap.