Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Midweek Links: Materialism and Greed

My pastor recently spoke of the many subtle ways love of things, or materialism, can creep into our lives. For instance, we may pride ourselves on the fact that we're not always chasing after newer things, but we may be hung up on living in the "right" neighborhood or we may seek to lord our lack of trendy toys over our neighbors. Either way, we're focusing on the material of this world and not on God. I've been thinking about that a lot over the past couple of weeks, and in my travels online, I've also found some articles that made me think.

I read this blog piece last month, but I immediately thought of it when I heard my pastor's sermon. There really are a lot of thoughts and assumptions that can go into our discount shopping, and some of the comments on this piece made me think,too. For instance, are we shopping the clearance rack because we're trying to be good stewards of what God has given us or do we do it for "good Christian girl" bragging rights? I've encountered both from others and I've probably gone in with both attitudes, too.

Ligonier Ministries is a wonderful source, and on this topic, they have proven helpful yet again. In this short article, we learn more not only about how easily we can get our priorities out of whack, but also what the heart of a good steward looks like.

I came across this article from Vanity Fair magazine via a friend's Facebook page. The article discusses the super-rich of London and how they came to buy into the city in the way that they have. It's actually an unsettling(though very interesting) read when one really starts to think about it. Essentially, the author points out that we have a small, very wealthy group of people who buy property in London because of its status as a tax haven, but then they leave the properties deserted much of the time. I got the distinct impression of a group of people driven primarily by their desire to accumulate and protect more material treasure than they could possibly need.

And since it's #WriteTheWord Wednesday, here is what I've been finding as I search the Bible for wisdom:

I realize that my handwriting looks like something from a codebreaking game, but those are passages from Matthew 6 and Matthew 16 that I have written out during my morning Bible reading. So, Matthew was a tax collector and he wrote down a lot of what Jesus had to say about the material world versus life in Him. Funny how God works, eh?

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