Blog

BLACK FRIDAY, CHRISTIANS, & MATERIALISM

BLACK FRIDAY, CHRISTIANS, & MATERIALISM

 

Within the last few weeks the Mexico News has been full of stories regarding...

 

President Peña Nieto, Angélica Rivera, and her $7 billion dollar house.

 

I find it interesting that these same weeks I have been studying Revelation in preparation for the series that we are currently in (The Revelation of Jesus Christ), particularly Chapter 17 and 18 speak of Babylon; we don't know exactly what Babylon will be in the last days but one thing that is clear is what it represents; the world trading system. And chapter 18 narrates that one day this whole system will be destroyed in one hour, this is more than any decline in the stock market or problems on Wall Street, this is the complete destruction of the global economy.

 

The decision of the First Lady of buying such a luxurious house has generated much controversy, and my plan is not to add to the controversy but to start a conversation about materialism.  What it is and what are its effects.  In this short blog I hope to discuss Christians and materialism.

 

What is materialism?

 

Materialism basically is finding your fulfillment, identity, and happiness in the things you own; if you earn more this year than last year you will have more happiness, but if you earn less or lose your job then you lose your happiness.

 

When you buy a new TV you feel complete but when you don’t have enough money for the TV you want you feel empty.

 

And maybe you think this is an "oversimplification" of a more complicated issue, but the reality is that for Christians, our identity, happiness, and fulfillment are not in the things that we have but on the relationship we can have with God through Jesus.

 

Why is materialism bad?

 

Although it is not bad to have things, it is bad to allow your happiness to depend on them because sooner or later you will lose them.  Your phone will be obsolete in a few years, your car will be in a junkyard in a few decades, your house will be demolished in a few generations.

 

C. S. Lewis said:

  "We must not let our happiness depend on something that will be lost."

 

The reason that materialism is bad, Jesus says that we should not accumulate treasure where rust destroy and thief steals. The desire to accumulate things leads us to ruin, either we lose what we want or we lose peace because instead of enjoying what we have we are always fantasizing about what we don’t have. In addition consider the debt we have for wanting to increase our "lifestyle" and instead of increasing our quality of life we decrease it.

 

The answer to materialism.

How can we overcome materialism? What the Bible presents as an antidote to materialism is worship.

 

Materialism is worshiping the material, Christianity is worshiping Christ.

 

The result we see in the Bible as a way to worship Jesus is to reflect His life.  What I see in the Gospels is that Jesus lived an impressively simple life.  He didn’t have anything valuable, but instead walking from town to town, sleeping in parks, eating bread and interacting with the crowds. This was a huge contrast to the Roman culture in which their leaders gave themselves over to their pleasures and delights.  The early Church ate bread from house to house in simplicity of heart. This brings conviction to my heart because I know there are many things in my life that consume too much time, too much attention and if I were to lose these things my happiness would be affected. The counterpart of this is to loose ourselves so deeply in love for Jesus so that our happiness depends solely on him.

 

What does all this have to do with what happened with the presidential family? Personally, it frustrates me to see people in debt, without joy, living for the material, and criticizing people with the exact same condition as them.

 

You and I are the same as the First Lady, the only difference is that there are more zeros at the end of her income. The problem of the heart is the same. I'm not saying its right or wrong, what I'm saying is that most of us have to repent of materialism in our own hearts.

 


Jonathan Domingo

 

Published in blog