Honestly, I worry more about money and possessions than I should. I know the teachings of Jesus on this matter, but so often the stuff of the world pulls for my attention. I like new things, I like the stuff, I am a techie!
Jesus teaches about money…a lot! Here is a great summary of His teachings, given in Matthew 6:
- Store up treasure in heaven (by giving to Kingdom causes, helping those in need, making the world better)
- Where your treasure is, there your heart is – so true – you think about where you have invested. God cares about where my heart is.
- Pay attention to what you are looking at. The less I go to the mall or look at ads, the less I want to buy. The more I look at the Bible, and the needs of the world, the more I want to invest in the Kingdom.
- I can’t serve God and “stuff” (the word is “mammon” – which means money and possessions).
Jesus then goes on to talk about worry – which is so connected with possessions and money.
- Life is more than our needs – it is about the difference we make, it is about our relationship with God.
- We are valuable to God – He will take care of us!
- Worry can’t add time to life (but it usually takes life away from us).
- God cares for us – so trust Him; excessive worry shows we are not aware of God’s love.
- Be focused on the Kingdom of God, and obeying Him – not on everyday needs. God will provide.
I have found that letting go of worry is actually easier than getting rid of materialism – I can have my things but work to not be attached to them, to be ok with a dent in my car, to give my things to God. It has been harder for me to not buy things, to give some of my things away, to sell things and give to the poor and church. God is still working on me.
Worry and materialism are two of the most dangerous problems in the world today, especially because having more than we need is usually seen as a sign of success.