The line between desiring financial security and materialism


You've probably heard of Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba and one of the richest people in China today. What many people don't know is that Jack Ma does not enjoy his money the way we think that he would.

In an interview for a documentary called "Crocodile in the Yangtze," Ma shared a compelling truth about how much happier he was when he worked as a teacher earning no more than $12 a month, referring to the moment as the "best times of his life."

The world today revolves around the idea that the more money you have, the better off you are. But it's baffling how so many tycoons who reach the peak of economic gain find out that money is not as satisfying as many people think.

God, in all His goodness and grace, wants His people to prosper, but it doesn't take much to realize that He does so only to an extent. That is because so many people do not know how to draw a line between material blessings that God desires for them and materialism. Here are three ways to steer clear of materialism as you experience God's overflowing blessings.

Remember to breed contentment

Materialism is not an issue of the wallet. It is an issue of the heart. We fall into the snare that is materialism when in our hearts there is no gratefulness or contentment because it is overshadowed by the desire for more security, significance and meaning that money appears to provide.

There is only one source of all of that, and that is God Himself. Hebrews 13:5 says, "Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'"

Remember who is Lord

Money is one of today's most common idols. That's why Jesus talked about it so many times and made it clear that "you cannot serve both God and money." Money is a good servant, but it is not a good master.

Acts 2:36 tells us, "Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified." If Jesus is Lord, He will justly love and serve us in a way that money could never do.

Remember the Source

Our source is not our jobs, not our businesses, not even ourselves. God is the true source of every ounce of blessing we receive. Without God, we have nothing and are therefore nothing. In 1 Chronicles 29:14, the King David declared, "But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you."