In a world full of books, magazines, billboards, movies and television shows, we are completely bombarded with materialism anywhere we look or go. It is barely escapable even when we try.
The sad thing about the billboards with all the glitz, glamour, bright smiles, perfect clothes and luxury vehicles is that they are untrue representations of reality. The purpose behind the perfect photo shoots is to convince society that we need what they have to offer to find happiness.
For the ones who can’t even afford a pair of comfortable shoes, or those who must walk to work to provide for their families, advertising can intimidate them for all they do not have, causing feelings of failure.
Friends, are we thankful for our Savior that does not care if we have an affluent last name, or live in a mansion, or have millions of dollars in the bank before He accepts us?
Our Savior Himself came to Earth humbly when He could have had every luxury and convenience His flesh desired. Even so, He came in a manner that made Him approachable. His presence did not intimidate the human race He wanted to save. He did not attract crowds by His display of royalty and unimaginable earthly wealth.
While monetary wealth is not a sin, the Bible shares a story of a man who had it in Matthew 19:16-24:
And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And he said to him, “… If you would enter life, keep the commandments.”…The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven...” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. And Jesus said to his disciples, “… it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”
Jesus knew the man was too attached to his earthly goods: more than He loved God. He knows monetary and material riches can still be a danger to men’s priorities today.
And so, while global poverty is not virtuous, and those who are fortunate enough to rise above it are blessed, true depths of wealth are the things that are not tangible with our hands, but reach in to the deep places of our hearts.
If we have family and friends who love us, support us, pray for us, laugh with us, cry with us and celebrate with us, we have more than the person who owns ten houses but no one to visit him in them.
If we have strength in our bodies and wake up with a purpose each day, we are doing better than the movie star who has overdosed alone in a hotel room with a life that ended much too soon.
Those of us who cannot claim financial riches live through millions of scenarios that bless us beyond money.
We don’t need to feel intimidated by advertisements, flashing movie screens or fancy magazine covers. Our blessings are soul deep, and cannot be purchased with money.