Am I Materialistic?
The Pastor drives a Bentley. The evangelist lives in a big house. Is materialism wrong? There are really two things occurring when we look at this question. What right (or need) do we have to judge the Pastor or the evangelist for having nice things? That is a slippery slope. I remember being guilty of that a few times. That is always between the individual and God and in no instance were you invited to weigh in on your opinion. Second, what about you and your things? Oh, wait a minute. That spotlight redirected makes for a difficult question.
Are you attached to materials, things? Can you not live without them? Do they define your identity? These are tough questions because we can give a lot of power to things.
There is a litmus test for that question.
If God asked you to give everything up tomorrow, could you do it? In Matthew 19, Christ asked the rich young man to give up all of his possessions, give them to the poor, and follow Him. The rich young man was pretty discouraged by that response. Being rich gives you the sense of being first. Christ says in verse 30:
"But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first."
The probabilities are the majority of us aren't going to feel led to sell everything we have and give to the poor. Having said that, are you on stand-by though? Would you do it if asked? If the answer is yes, that is detachment not attachment to material things. Said another way, that is attachment to God's will for your life. The things have no meaning to you.
Do the materials in your life rob you of your freedom to serve God's will for your life?
Can you still afford to have things and give and tithe abundantly? Do you have that freedom? Are you working your tail off to finance a lifestyle or do you have the freedom to drop everything and go where led?
These are the deeper issues to explore. It is not easy. If you are conflicted, the answer is quite simple.
What fulfillment are you looking for from materialism that you aren't giving Christ a chance to fulfill? The difference in what He provides and materials provide come down to illusion. Materials provide the illusion of real happiness and God provides the real thing.