Monday, January 10, 2011

The Psychosis of Materialism (Part 2)

I always witness one thing from our generation today. We are constantly exposed to "things" that convince us that we need more to be happy. My teenage kids, Christine and Paul, have a new laptop and gadget this new year and are up to date with the latest fads. I know, having obtained what they think they need, they'll soon feel unhappy when a new model comes out!  It's never-ending.

I'm naturally concerned about its effect to my kids. "Things" may not be evil in themselves, but they have the capacity to be "idols of the heart." They can make one psychotic, lose touch with reality!  They can lead one to forget Christ's simple admonition:  "One's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses" (Luke 12:15). In the constant presence of "things" and the spirit behind them, one may indeed lose touch with the divine as well.  

Have you ever experienced living in cold Antarctic all by yourself?  One guy, Admiral Richard Byrd, did it for months. In his journal, he wrote: "I am learning ... that a man can live profoundly without masses of things."  Alexander Solzhenitsyn had a similar insight. He was thrown into Soviet prison and all things he held dear were taken from him - books, loved ones, home, freedom.  It was then that he came to write about the secret of how to be truly happy and strong -- "that man is never stronger than when he has nothing but the treasures within his heart."

Is money or possessions wrong?  No!  Christ is simply against anything that becomes a "god" in our hearts and leaves God out of our lives. Unfortunately, this is a very common "psychological illness" and "soul wound."  Many people nowadays are "possessed by possessions" as no other generation in history.     

It's a different "lord" that continues to wound people.

"Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:21).

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