Hot sports car, a huge suburban home, a toned body, higher education, six-pack abs, an elegant wedding, an expensive clothing, top-of-the-line gadgets, and luxurious travel.
What do these things have in common? They are all material things that we often want to have to, not just once in our lives but most often. We run after money by working too hard in extended hours, and after earning enough of it, we go after these material things that we think can satisfy our thirst.
Why do we work hard? Why we want more money? These are the questions that lingered upon me when I was struggling financially. I was struggling with the debt I owe to my bank from lending me money for my travel expense, for the DSLR Camera I bought with a credit card in the mall and with the painless swiping of my credit card everywhere.
I can’t stop myself. I can’t control myself from acquiring more things. I have enough but why I am still struggling?
Why do we often envy what other people have? Why are we obsessed with our physical appearance and fitness? Why many of us are in debt? Why there are so many have been addicted to drugs? to sex? to money? Why we lust after these things?
Three days ago, I just finished reading the book written by Paul David Tripp entitled “Awe: Why it Matters for Everything We Say, Think and Do.”. In his book, he shared that our capacity of awe for God has been kidnapped by sin, and let me share it with you three important reasons why we struggle with material things that changed my perspective.
1.Everyone is searching for life.
It’s hardwired inside all of us. We are all yearning for life, we hunt for contentment, satisfaction, joy, hope, encouragement, meaning and purpose, a reason to get up in the morning, success, doing the right thing and security.
In our lives, we often look for it, right? That’s why we have a lot of motivational speakers today for us to be reminded of these things, but where to look for these things? Sadly, in the attempt to satisfy ourselves, we look satisfaction on the material things, we look for contentment with the things we possess, we find meaning and purpose with people around us, and we find security in the education we have, in the money we acquired, and in the title we worked hard.
We are searching for life and instead we look for it in our Creator who created everything for us, yet we look life in the things He created. We often own by our possessions.
2. We will be in awe of what we think will give us life.
Our search for life is at the center of our world of awe. Just like a bride who is an awe of her future husband because he gives her life. A fresh graduate who landed a job captured his awe by the employer who accepted him or her. A brand new car will give us awe how beautifully it was made and crafted by the engineer who designed it.
We can even find life in the money we earn like earning our first million or winning a lottery. Or perhaps the woman you are pursuing gets your awe.
We are all on the quest for life, and God made us that way. He designed us to be longing for life in which we can only find in Him.
3. Material things are a miserable place to look for life.
Sometimes I find myself in awe of material things. One day, I am in awe of the car passed by and wishing that if I could have that, I will be happy. The next day, I am in awe of marriage, praying that very soon I could meet my future wife and if that will happen, I will be the happiest man on earth.
I realized why we tend to be anxious and worrisome is because we look for life on the things that created for us. We adore these things because we mistakenly think that they can give us the one thing that they will never give — life.
If material things tend to capture our awe and we look life on it, does it mean they are bad?. The Bible never tells that these things are evil. In fact, the Bible never tells us that money is evil, rather the love of money is evil because God has a purpose for these things.
- It is our for sustenance
- For our pleasure
- For remembrance.
Material things were created to give us shelter, food, and clothing. The beauty of these things is for our pleasure and for our remembrance that the One who created these things are worthy of our praises and not the other way around.