Our culture is saturated with materialism. There is a constant flood of marketing campaigns and tactics in front of us every day, convincing us we need more. The temptation to indulge in excess can be overwhelming.
Overspending and indulging in excess can make us feel good temporarily, but having better or more expensive things does not satisfy the deepest desires of our hearts. Instead, it creates a cycle of buying more stuff to satisfy our ever-growing “desire to acquire.”
What we don’t realize is that, oftentimes, we become victims of financial slavery in this process, heaping on loads of debt and worry. We eventually find ourselves carrying a gigantic, unmanageable burden brought on by all the “stuff.”
We’d like to think that because we’re Christ-followers, we are immune to the deceptive persuasion of the world around us. But sometimes the need to feel accepted is too great or we feel justified in our costly purchases because we “deserve” it. Unfortunately, being a friend of God doesn’t disqualify us from these temptations.
Take a look at the story found in Genesis, chapter 3 of the Bible. It describes Eve’s temptation in the Garden of Eden. God was physically present and Eve experienced His perfection daily, yet she was tempted by evil. She was tempted, and also convinced, that she was lacking something.
Read from Genesis 3:1-7 below:
“The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the LORD God had made. One day he asked the woman, ‘Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?’ ‘Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,’ the woman replied. It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, “You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.” ‘You won’t die!’ the serpent replied to the woman. ‘God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.’ The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. At that moment their eyes were opened” (NLT).
God gave Eve a command not to eat from the tree in the center of the Garden. Then, Satan, the enemy in the form of a serpent, made a suggestion that wasn’t based on Truth. He told Eve a very attractive and convincing lie.
With the enemy’s prompting, Eve examined the tree for herself and saw the attractiveness of what Satan was offering. Not only was it attractive, but it offered something she lacked. Eve believed she was lacking and was tempted to gain what she thought she didn’t have.
Immediately, Eve was deceived. Her desires led her to act in ways that were in direct disobedience to what God commanded her.
The same temptation that Eve experienced happens every day: the enemy continually twists the truth, which was created and established by God, and turns it into a lie. Then, Satan justifies why it could benefit us.
When we are deceived by the Enemy, we become slaves to those lies. The deception begins with looking nice, tasting good, or making us feel loved, appreciated or valuable. This causes us to forget that our desires can only be satisfied in knowing God, our Creator, and experiencing the freedom of His Truth.
There is evidence all around showing how easily our human hearts are convinced that our possessions bring value, meaning, and purpose to our lives. Let’s be careful not to make a habit of constantly buying more, especially at the expense of our family’s financial freedom. The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. Financial slavery can have a long-lasting impact on us, including our relationships and our health.
Remember: your worth is in Christ, not in material things!
1 John 2:15-17 says, “Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever” (NLT).
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on tableofriches.wordpress.com.
Featured Image by Nathan Dumlao