Materialism: a tendency to consider material possessions and physical comfort as more important than spiritual values.
synonyms: greed · greediness · covetousness · cupidity · possessiveness · grasping · graspingness · grabbing · avarice · avidity · predatoriness · rapaciousness · rapacity · voracity · voraciousness · mercenariness · money-grubbing · money-grabbing · Mammonism
Materialistic: excessively concerned with material possessions; money-oriented.
From HuffPost: “Is the American Dream Becoming Too Materialistic?”
Unfortunately, the American dream is becoming more and more materialistic. I guess it was always a bit materialistic, but when I look at America today, I see a nation obsessed with shopping and buying unnecessary products. Previously, people aspired to have a nice house in the suburbs with a couple of cars. Now, there is no end to the products that people want: the latest iPhone, expensive cars, designer bags—the list is endless. The American dream revolves around luxury goods for most people. As Ellen Goodman put it, “Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.”
Shopping is not a problem on its own; it’s the obsessive accumulation of unnecessary products, along with the hope that buying a Chanel bag will somehow make you happier that is problematic. The things that we own often end up owning us, and that’s what I see around me. People are obsessed with material goods. We’re bombarded with ads telling us how a certain car/shoe/phone/soft drink will make us happier, cooler and more fulfilled.
This conspicuous consumption has its drawbacks. It wastes time, money and energy, and often racks up credit card debt. And, even then, it doesn’t add any fulfillment to one’s life. – Source
Things are ultimately just things. ‘Newsflash’ to the undiscerning (I was one of the undiscerning): we are not to love the things of this world. Unfortunately, our American culture has embraced materialism through ‘programmed consumerism’ which incites our ‘greed’ to obtain the latest and greatest gadgets and products available on the market. What I have found is that it is a ruthless cycle of buying things we do not really need only to end up giving or throwing it away and, in the end, realizing that those things were just a waste of time and money! So, in this piece, I would like to take this opportunity to share with you our ‘spiritual purge process’ and what kind of impact it had on our home and lives. Hope this blesses someone.
One could describe someone like me as the ‘opposite of a hoarder.’ There is something satisfying, (pretty much cathartic) to me about ‘getting rid of stuff.’ I guess getting one’s heart broken over and over makes purging things easier; at least that is the case for me. I love donating any and all things that are no longer useful or needed in my home and life. I do not keep much out of ‘sentimental value.’ Growing in Christ teaches you to hold on to the things of this life ‘loosely,’ for this world is not our home. I have always been this way, but since growing stronger in the Lord in recent years, I have become more discerning about this topic in a ‘spiritual way.’
Over the years we have purged our home and lives of so many things that we were ‘blind’ to due to ‘cultural influence and secularism.’ Things like all secular music, movies, books, video games, diaries and negative writings, questionable jewelry like crystals, stones, mood rings, dream catchers, anything relating to Halloween (Samhain), pagan aspects of Christmas (Saturnalia) and Easter (Ishtar) like ‘Santa Claus and the Easter bunny,’ stars with circles around them, clothing with skulls, alcohol, or demonic pictures on them, gnomes, fairies, bigfoot, and anything else that the Holy Spirit has put on our hearts that is not honoring God or is abominable to Him.
This may seem extreme on the surface to some, but let me tell you of the ‘spiritual significance’ of doing a home and life purge can have on one’s soul. For us, it has ‘purified’ our lives in ways it would not have if we did not remove these ‘cultural and pagan influences.’ We have grown spiritually like never before; we now have more time for the ‘things of God’ such as reading our Bibles every night instead of wasting our time on secular tv ‘junk’ and shows, ‘filth’ which is of no eternal value. It allows us to ‘guard the gateways’ of our minds and hearts through our eyes and ears by committing to only let the things of God in, instead of the things of the world (evil) in.
Doing all of this has had huge ramifications on our spiritual life by ‘purifying and readying us’ for the Lord and His soon return! Here is an excerpt on how essential a home and life purge is for our souls. It is not to be dealt with lightly but to be done with prayer. It will also take some time to realize the ‘full extent’ of what the Holy Spirit will have you to remove from your life. Eye-opening does not even begin to describe this process. In the end you will be amazed at how ‘spiritually blind’ we truly were until we stopped allowing the enemy of our souls access to our homes and lives!
From I Believe: “Spiritual Purging: Preparation for the Next Level”
(I suggest reading full article)
This one is a tough one. Anyone who has ever been through a spiritual purging before knows exactly what I’m talking about. However, if you’ve never experienced it, just hold on, because it’s a part of the spiritual growth process in your Christian walk. It’s the part where the things that are not like Christ have to be removed from our lives to produce spiritual maturity. It doesn’t feel too hot, but the good news is that the Holy Spirit is there to guide us every step of the way. Our job is to allow him to do his perfect work in us willingly, as he prepares us for the next level.
If you’re reading this post today, it’s not by chance. God wants to take you higher in Him and in service, but you cannot go higher with dead weights attached to you. For this next level, you will have to get rid of the weights. Hebrews 12:1 says,
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us” (NLT).
When God is purging us, it means that He wants to free us from the sin and impurities in our lives. It’s hard to go higher in God and do more for the kingdom if sin is weighing us down.
Before I go further, you need to know what the word purge actually means. It’s defined as to free from impurities, purify, to remove by cleansing, to get rid of sin, guilt, defilement, and to empty. It’s almost like throwing up or vomiting. I hate to put it that way, but it’s the perfect illustration! And just like vomiting, which is an involuntary spasmic movement that is ejected from the mouth, Purging is an involuntary spasmic movement that is ejected from the heart.
“The Lord knows those who are his, and those who claim they belong to him must turn away from all wickedness…If you keep yourselves pure, you will be a utensil God can use for his purpose. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master’s use for every good work” (NLT).
So get it right with Him. Get cleaned up! – Source
Things to ponder… Everything we do in this life is to be done for the Lord. Do we want to live for Him or for self? Do we want to be pleasing to Him in all that we do? Are the things of this world more worthy of our time and attention than God is? Where do our loyalties lie? Is it in materialism or in the God of the Universe? Do we love the things of this world more than we love Abba Father God? Loving our Lord Jesus Christ requires more than lip service; it requires obedience.
Hope this piece will help someone who is wanting to further their spiritual growth by doing a purge in their home and life. Here are some scriptures to help you on your journey. God bless you as you grow in Him.
1 John 2:15 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
1 John 2:17 “And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”
2 Timothy 3:1-5 “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud… lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
1 John 5:21 “Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.”
Psalm 73:25 “Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.”
Until next time… Maranatha!
(JESUS = WAY, TRUTH, LIFE)