The lack of money is the root of all evil. — Mark Twain
A couple of years ago, someone from the outside warned us. It was one of our church planters from India who'd never been out of his country before. After a week of visiting here, somebody asked him his impression of our fine nation. He said this: "One thing I've noticed is that the houses you built for your cars are far bigger and much nicer than the houses we have for our families." That one stopped me cold. Think about it; garages are houses that we build for our cars while millions of people around the world are houseless and homeless. It was fair warning for a subtle but dangerous trend that we don't even seem to be aware of.
Most of us can recognize a dangerous situation when it is sprung on us. But we are susceptible to gradual danger, and unless we're warned, we will fall prey to it. Biologists say that if a frog is placed in a pot of cool water that is slowly brought to a boil, the frog will cook rather than try to jump out. (I've never verified this, I swear.) Sometimes, we need someone who's outside the pot of water to warn us of our situation, because we're oblivious to the danger that's slowly encroaching upon us. Our friend from India did that. He warned us of a big danger that's encroaching upon our entire nation: materialism.
Scripture warns us as well. Jesus saw money as His primary competition for our heart:
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also... No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money." — Matthew 6:19-21, 24
Have we become so comfortable and complacent in our materialism that we will allow our lives to be boiled away?
Gracious Father, I am going to need a special awareness of Your grace as I address this issue with You. Search my heart, show me my ways. By the counsel of Your Spirit in me, give me the wisdom and the willingness to align my life with the truth of Your Word so that I can serve You in freedom, rather than serve materialism as a slave. Amen.
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