What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? (Mark 8:36 NIV)
I love stuff. There, I said it. It might not be too spiritual to say it out loud, but I’m willing to bet I’m not the only person who struggles with the materialism monster. I see cool cars and look at my beat up pickup truck. I have friends with huge impressive houses, and I remember my little place down in Hampton. I see photos on Facebook of elaborate vacations or hear about amazing new five star restaurants, and the monster rears its ugly head.
It’s something I believe most of us struggle with. If you don’t believe me, try selling your house and moving. You’ll realize just how much stuff you really have.
But what can we do about it? Why do we spend so much time wanting things we do not have?
I think it’s because humans can be extremely selfish. We want to take, take, take. We want to buy, buy, buy. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with having nice things. There’s nothing wrong with having a beautiful home. There’s nothing wrong with going to the mall. It’s when it becomes an idol that it’s a problem: When we shop to de-stress rather than turn to God. When we buy to feel happy instead of seeking out our Father.
I’ve learned the best way for me to battle the greed giant, is to always have a box of stuff to give away. I have more books that I’ll ever have time to read, so every few months I sift through them and donate a handful to a local Goodwill store. I am always getting new clothing, so I search my closet a couple times a year and give away stuff I’m not using.
By default I want to gain the whole world. Through God’s help and learning to let go of things, I fight off my materialistic desires.
Dear God, help me learn satisfaction in only you. Help me find peace and comfort in your arms, not more stuff. In Jesus name, Amen.
-Seth Caddell is the guest devotion writer for this week. He is the Associate Minister of Adult Ministries at Northside, and blogs over at www.LifeAsExperienced.com