In the 1900, the average person living in the United States wanted seventy two different things and considered eighteen of them essential. Today, the average person, wants over five hundred things, and considers one hundred of them essential. Our obsession with stuff carries a hefty price tag. Eighty percent of us battles the pressure of overdue bills. We spend 110 percent of our disposable income trying to manage debt. And who can keep up? We no longer measure ourselves against the Jones next door but against the stars on the silver screen or the stud on the magazine cover. Hollywood’s diamonds make yours look like a knock-off bought in China. No one can compete against Madison Avenue. So be content with what you have.
Jesus warns against greed.
According Luke 12:13-21, Jesus was addressing a large crowd one day when one of the men in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, my father just died and left some things for us. Tell my brother to share them with me.” But Jesus said to him, “Who said I should be your judge or decide how to divide your father’s things between you two?” Then Jesus said to them, “Be careful and guard against all kinds of greed. People do not get life from the many things they own.” Then Jesus used this story: “There was a rich man who had some land. His land grew a very good crop of food. ‘What will I do? He thought to himself. I have no place to keep all my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘I know what I will do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger barns! I will put all my wheat and good things together in my new barns. Then I can say to myself, I have many good things stored. I have saved enough for many years. Rest, eat, drink, and enjoy life!’ “But God said to that man, ‘Foolish man! Tonight you will die. So what about the things you prepared for yourself? Who will get those things now?’
“This is how it will be for anyone who saves things only for himself. To God that person is not rich.”
Friends, Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21). What we feel and believe are the truly precious and meaningful things in our lives. If we do not commit ourselves to what is good and right, then we are empty. Moral poverty occurs when we place things above relationships. Christ sent His disciples out in the world without possessions, but no one in history has known more wealth than those chosen men who walked with Jesus. It is when we choose to walk with Jesus that we find out what true riches are.