Take care to guard against all greed,
for though one may be rich,
one’s life does not consist of possessions.
The attitude that things are of primary importance leads to greed, and greed inevitably corrupts whatever it touches. It makes us see things as the central value in our lives, and we then value things more than God and other persons. People become objects who are only as good to us as the material satisfaction that they can bring. The bonds that hold people in personal relationship break down. We see our acquisitive actions as justifiable even if they hurt others. Material possessions become the standard of happiness. Quantity replaces quality in life. This is what can happen when a society pursues the value of things versus the good of persons and when material prosperity is used as the major standard for measuring the welfare of societies.
Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
What does this parable say in terms of our contemporary social problems? The climate crisis. Poverty in America. Inequality of women. Prejudice and exclusion toward those who are perceived as threatening to our lifestyle. Add to the long list. Think of TV commercials. How is a materialistic value system shaping our values?
You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’ Thus will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Whenever material things, money, worldliness, become the center of our lives, they take hold of us, they possess us; we lose our very identity as human beings.
These days, in our materialistic culture, many people are led to believe that money is the ultimate source of happiness. Consequently, when they don’t have enough of it they feel let down. Therefore, it is important to let people know that they have the source of contentment and happiness within themselves and that it is related to nurturing our natural inner values.
People are realizing that what seemed important to them in their lives-materialism and consumerism-doesn’t work at all to make a happy heart. It actually makes an unhappy heart. And an unhappy world.
Happiness doesn’t depend on how much you have to enjoy, but how much you enjoy what you have.
The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.
I have a notion that if you are going to be spiritually curious, you better not get cluttered up with too many material things.
Take time daily to reflect on how much you have. It may not be all that you want but remember someone somewhere is dreaming to have what you have.
At the end of the day, your relationships with the people in your life will be greater assets than any material things. Take time. Be present. You’ll thank yourself for it later.