Topic > Christianity & Culture > Materialism > Consumerism >
More, More, More
Some people love to shop. They have a perpetual desire to buy, buy, buy. The craze to find the latest deal is worldwide. There are huge shopping malls in China, Saudi Arabia, Canada, the Philippines, the United States, and around the world. A rise in store purchases and online buying show that buying is a global phenomenon.
What does it means to be well-off financially and still follow Christ?
Is the decision to serve money over God a choice we make with our wallets, or is it a decision we make with our hearts?
I like to read, and I enjoy buying books. But I don’t like it when publishers refer to me as a “consumer.” The word consume can mean “do away with completely” or “spend wastefully.” It brings to mind forest fires that devour acre after acre of vegetation, leaving behind only scorched remnants of trees and homes. When we read books, we don’t consume them in that sense, for they don’t cease to exist after we’ve used them. In fact, quite the opposite is true. They become a part of us; they change us.
The writer of Ecclesiastes said that pleasure, material possessions, and even great knowledge do not bring lasting satisfaction. Jesus went even further. He said that a person who possesses everything this world has to offer but doesn’t prepare for eternity is spiritually destitute. We all need more than fun, finances, and fame to be fulfilled.
Godfrey Davis, who wrote a biography of the Duke of Wellington, said, “I found an old account ledger that showed how the Duke spent his money. It was a far better clue to what he thought was really important than the reading of his letters or speeches.”
How we handle money reveals much about our priorities. That’s why Jesus often talked about money.
After Bob Ritchie graduated from college, he spent the next two decades in the grasp of a love for money and advancement. He uprooted his wife and family five times for his career, so that he could make more money. Each time they left warm church communities behind.
After a while, Bob and his family seldom had time for church. As God’s people became strangers, so did the Lord. He became desperately lonely and isolated. Growing discontented with his life, he finally said, “Enough!”