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Materialism is the preoccupation with material things. It is to be obsessed with the desire of acquiring and caring for “stuff.” This obsession is a dangerous thing for the Christian; it is affection that is misplaced and it is sin. Colossians 3:2 – Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

It is not to say we cannot have material things. Years ago the preacher R.O. Woodworth put it this way, It’s not wrong to have things, but it is wrong when the things have you. Christ identified the first and greatest commandment. Matthew 22:37-38 – Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. Therefore, God is the only thing we can (and should) occupy ourselves with habitually.

When we concern ourselves with the material world, we are easily drawn in by the “deceitfulness” of wealth, thinking we will be happy or fulfilled or content if only we had more of whatever it is we are chasing.  Mark 4:19 – And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

If materialism was ever to satisfy anyone, it would have been Solomon, the richest king the world has ever known. He had absolutely everything and had more of it than anyone, and yet he found it was all worthless. It did not produce happiness or satisfaction. Ecclesiastes 5:10 – He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.

In the end, our conclusion should be Solomon’s conclusion.  Ecclesiastes 12:13 – Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

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