Herald JournalColumns
Dec. 12, 2005, Enterprise Dispatch
Pastor's Column

Material wealth is not the answer

By Pastor Steve Olson, Gethsemane Lutheran Church, Dassel

“Take care, be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions. (Luke 12:15)

Sometimes life is a bit of a rat race, especially at this time of year. Many are already living pay check to pay check, and then we pile on all the Christmas expectations. It is no wonder people start going in the hole, and yet do we really need all that stuff?

Many have told me what they really want is to finally break even and maybe even start pulling ahead. At least, we would like to be comfortable. Yet what would it take to make that dream come true? What sort of annual income would it take for you to live comfortably?

In fact, on average people thought that in order to live comfortably, they would need roughly twice what they were currently earning. Those earning less than $20,00 thought $57,000 would just about do it, while those earning $90,000 thought $170,000 would put them in the “comfort” zone. So it went, the more they had, the more they wanted and not just wanted, but thought they needed just to be comfortable. Talk about being insatiable!

Based on this study alone, one would think the whole point of life was a never-ending quest for more and more wealth, but where does all that wealth get us? Does it satisfy some deep-seated desire? Obviously not, for we keep on wanting more.

So, how does one break free of this rat race? Is there a way out of our slavery to materialism? The good news is that there is. If we are but willing to ask our Lord Jesus to become Lord of our financial life as well as our spiritual life, he will deliver us from a life of materialistic insatiability. He will give us a spiritual contentment that all the money on Wall Street could never hope to buy.

So if you are tired of the rat race, turn to Christ and he will set you free. For the true secret of financial freedom is not in the abundance of possessions but in learning to be content with what we do have.

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