For Christian families today, the lure of the world is great. It entices us with it's glittery, "feel-good" treasures that promise happiness, admiration and fulfillment. Why are we even tempted to go after these material trophies? Well, that's easy...we long to be accepted, admired and esteemed by the world. We want respect from our peers. We desire a lifestyle that is comfortable and exciting. We want to "keep up with the Joneses"! Basically, we believe in the world's definition of success...that is...having money, power and influence.
The problem is, once we jump on that roller coaster of acquiring things it's very hard to get off. We end up wanting more and more. Our possessions begin to take priority over everything else in life including people. That powerful position you've attained may distract you from God's true calling on your life. Pride may become a stumbling block in your relationship with the Lord and others. Those things you worked so hard to own, may end up owning you!
As Christians, we need to look to God's Word for our standard of success. If we look closely at what the Bible says ,we will see that it is polar opposite of the world's view.
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
What does it mean to "store up our treasures in heaven", as mentioned in the verse above? Loving and serving others, giving our time, money and energy to further his kingdom, raising our children in the Lord and sharing the gospel with those at home and abroad fit into this category.
"People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."1 Timothy 6: 9-10
God's view of success, according to the Bible, is living a life of obedience to him. A successful life would be a life yielded to him. There is nothing in the Bible about wealth, power or influence being especially pleasing to God. Instead, the Bible refers to things like humility, mercy, servanthood and generosity as traits that are pleasing to him.
What are we really looking for when we strive so hard to achieve worldly success? Basically, we are looking for fulfillment...peace...completeness. However, only God can fill that void. You were created with a "God-shaped" hole in your spirit that can only be filled by Him.
Now, lest you think I am promoting only a life of poverty for Christians, I am not. As a matter of fact, there are many people who have been blessed monetarily who are committed to using their wealth to further God's kingdom and help others. They have the resources to donate to missions projects, support church planting efforts and help the down and out. It's all about the heart. Remember? "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also". If God has blessed you...you are to bless others.
The most grievous outcome of a life lived in pursuit of material things is a wasted life...a life that could have done mighty things for the kingdom of God. A life that could have influenced others towards a relationship with Jesus Christ. A life that could have been spent building a godly legacy for the next generation. Satan wants nothing more than for you to be preoccupied with gaining worldly wealth and prestige. If he can keep you busy with that you will not have time to fulfill your God-given purpose in life.
The riches of a life lived for Christ far outweigh the riches of the world. Our ultimate reward will be found when we enter heaven and hear from our heavenly father the words, " Well done, thy good and faithful servant".
Don't be caught up in the trap of materialism. Consider how you can use your time, money and energy to further God's kingdom. You will be blessed beyond measure.