The Best Antidote for Materialism is Giving

Matthew 6:24 (NIV)No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

I heard a pastor once say that the best antidote for greed and materialism is giving. It’s so true, when you’re thinking about the needs of others you tend to not be so focused on your own wants. Each year around Christmas time we will ask our kids to go through their things and consider giving some of their possessions to others in need.

We challenge them to consider not just giving discards but to think about giving something that they treasure. This has not always been without challenges but we really want them to learn to be satisfied with what they have and to learn the joy of giving to others. Once we get moving on the goal they usually catch the spirit of generosity and get into it and in the end there is greater joy in giving. It seems to be a great tool in the battle against their culture at a time of year when the message seems to be focused on getting more stuff.

Materialism gets in the way of our relationship with God by crowding Him out. Our Scripture today says that you can’t serve God and your stuff too. You see, our hearts tends to follow after one thing or another and aren’t real good at dividing loyalty. So it’s one or the other, it’s serve God or serve your stuff.

The only way to really fight against materialism is to do just the opposite and foster a generous attitude toward others. How will you fight against greed this Christmas season?

1 Timothy 6:18-19 (NIV) Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.  In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

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