Materialism and its Crippling Effect
Materialism and its Crippling Effect

Materialism and its Crippling Effect

One of the truths I have always pondered on, is how Jesus contrasts mammon with God. Jesus describes Mammon as a valid competition to serving God. This means Mammon craves worship and is capable of enslaving a soul for itself and to its worship.

Furthermore, Jesus does not only show that Mammon is a potential object of worship even for the man that seeks the Lord. He states unequivocally the incompatibility of being at the service of Mammon and serving God. I think this has very profound implications for the Christian.

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

Matt 6:24 ESV

Of course, Jesus did not mean that believers should not work to have money. There are instructions in scriptures that mandate the believer to work and have, so that he would be responsible. Eph 4:28, 1Thes 4:11-12. A man that does not provide for his household is to be considered worse than an infidel. 1Tim 5:8. The key here however is ‘serving’; Esteeming Mammon unduly such that it becomes the premise for decision making and the lens for viewing the world. It becomes a whole worldview!

The key word that defines materialism is ‘serving’; Esteeming Mammon unduly such that it becomes the premise for decision making and the lens for viewing the world. It becomes a whole worldview! Click To Tweet

I have found that Mammon is a fierce competitor for lordship over men. This is why Jesus would give explicit instructions like this:

And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

Luk 12:15 ESV

I do not think that Jesus would ask us to be on guard – indicating a posture of constantly watching over the state of our hearts if Mammon isn’t always lurking around waiting to hijack the throne of our hearts, should we let our guards down.

Jesus speaks so gravely about Mammon and watching out for it because of its crippling effect. I have found that when a man has esteemed Mammon and the pursuit of it unduly, they always fail to see things rightly. It’s like there’s almost nothing capable of damaging a man’s perspective and theological orientation like it. When it hijacks the heart, it goes all out for it. It’s more like an all or none law. When Mammon seizes the throne of a man’s heart, it makes everything the man thinks or does about itself.

When materialism hijacks the heart, it goes all out for it. It’s more like an all or none law. When Mammon seizes the throne of a man’s heart, it makes everything the man thinks or does about itself. Click To Tweet

This is so delicate such that it is capable of using the noblest of all endeavours – the work of the ministry for its ends. The apostle Paul saw this among some men and he condemned it gravely.

…and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.”

1Tim 6:5
Materialism is so delicate such that it is capable of using the noblest of all endeavours – the work of the ministry for its ends. The apostle Paul saw this among some men and he condemned it gravely. Click To Tweet

In the same scripture, Paul mentions that some Christians have messed up their faith on account of their love for money. Remember Jesus spoke of loving Mammon as a precondition for serving it. The apostle calls the love of money the root of all evils.

Seeing this then, he advises the rich to take practical steps towards safeguarding themselves from the hold of Mammon.

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

1Tim 6:17-19

Therefore, brothers and sisters, we must hold to that instruction Jesus gave in Luke 12:15 dear. We must guard our hearts constantly. Materialism or Mammon will cripple our effectiveness. It will make us bag-chasers and not purpose chasers. Be on guard!

Micheal is an Occupational Therapist in training. Committed to the gospel of Christ, passionate about the integration of Christian theism and science
Share this post:

4 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.