What Money and Possessions Can Never Give You
I like happy endings, which is one reason I am so glad that the story of humanity—which began with sin—will one day end with man walking side-by-side in unbroken fellowship with God.
But until then, we live with the ever-present reality that while relationship with God has been restored through Christ, we still suffer from the consequences of sin.
For example, when sin came into the world, the unwavering confidence of being fully loved and fully provided for was lost. This tragedy shows up in many places of our lives, but few more visible than in our pocketbooks and possessions. It’s here that what we really believe about God, His love, and ability and willingness to provide for us become evident.
Where we choose to live, the type of car we drive, if we try to keep up with the Joneses, panic when we experience a financial problem, and how we spend, save, give, and tithe are all reflections of our beliefs about God’s love for us and His ability and desire to care for our needs.
Don’t Be Duped
Ever since sin entered the world, we have been trying to recapture our need to be totally loved and secure. One way we try to do this is through our pocketbook and possessions. But security and love are two things that no amount of cash or stuff can give us.
Matthew 13:22 says that wealth is “deceitful". When something is deceitful, it promises to give you one thing, but delivers something else. This is why lusting after money or possessions never satisfies. It only torments the one who lusts because the person who is greedy never has enough (Ecclesiastes 5:10).
An Honest Appraisal
We know our pocketbook or possessions have become idols to us when we:
- Are stingy or refuse to give at God’s instruction.
- Don’t want to downsize because it could be a blow to our ego.
- Won’t obey God’s call on our lives because we are trusting in money to provide more than we are trusting God.
- Buy a bigger house, nicer car, boat, or something else, because we believe others will admire us.
- Wear ourselves out trying to get rich or
- Try to get something from our pocketbook or possessions that only God can provide.
So why do we have pocketbooks and possessions? They are to provide for our needs, then carry out God’s will. Through them, we are to glorify God. Both are tools that can be greatly used when placed in the right hands to expand His Kingdom. Both become idols when we use them to try to get love and security, which we can only get from the God who made us.