The Lord is my Shepherd. I have all that I need. Psalm 23:1
Two lifestyles are trending now: Having excessive things [Materialism] and only basic needs [Simplistic or Minimalist].
Some people have cluttered homes. And others have well-organized museums that display their well-chosen things. As I prepared to relocate, it wasn’t difficult to figure out that I had too much stuff (craft supplies, clothing, home decorations, and furniture). The truth was that I spent a lot of money in the previous six years on things that I would never use again. It took five weeks to choose and pack the necessities and donate the many items.
The decision to relocate to Florida was the opportunity for new beginnings. I decided to rid myself of the nonproductive life-long behavior of seeing, wanting, and buying. First, I had to acknowledge and pray for forgiveness for wasting the financial resources that God had blessed me with. Still, there was a more significant concern, “What was the reason that I kept buying material things?” I prayed for change, but also asked God to reveal His answer. It was not going to be easy. I needed divine intervention for this journey.
For some individuals, the question remains, “What is wrong with buying the things that you want if you work hard?” Psychologists have their theories, but we will approach this from a spiritual perspective. Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. Matthew 6:19.
Two reasons come to mind, focusing on material things causes a distraction from what is essential in life, especially your relationship with God. Secondly, out-of-control “wants” produce an ungodly trait of selfishness that is always hungry and requires constant feeding. “Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do. There will always be some in the land who are poor. That is why I am commanding you to share freely with the poor and with other Israelites in need.” Deuteronomy 15:10-11.
Because of our sinful desires, the Apostle Paul tells us, “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.” Romans 7:15. Eliminating character traits that do not align with God’s requirements will always cause an intense struggle. Especially habits of excess, whether it is tangible items, food, etc. We cannot overcome without God’s help. To produce a change in our character requires “Human effort plus divine intervention.”
The struggle to break the habit of materialism is real. Victory is only possible when we put God first. Jesus replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.” Matthew 22:37. Loving God produces the desire to obey all of His commands. Put God first.
Bible Study: Matthew 6
God, we ask you for the strength to get rid of the stuff that clutters our minds, homes and distracts us from putting you first. We desire to have a closer relationship with you and to help those in need. We ask this prayer in the Worthy name of Jesus. Amen.
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2021, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.