Consumerism

combinationsNow behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” He said to Him, “Which ones?” Jesus said, “`You shall not murder, ‘`You shall not commit adultery, ‘`You shall not steal, ‘`You shall not bear false witness,’ `Honor your father and your mother,’ and, `You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'” The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. (Mat 19:16-23 NKJ)

I teach ‘Intro to World Religions’ for American Public University, and part of the course looks at the Buddhist teaching that life is full of suffering and suffering comes from cravings. The trouble with cravings is that they often can’t be satisfied. Once you buy that new care, it becomes a used car, or that new phone becomes old as they bring out a new, more significant better model.

Even Islam says. “O you who have believed, indeed many of the scholars and the monks devour the wealth of people unjustly and avert [them] from the way of God. And those who hoard gold and silver and spend it not in the way of God – give them tidings of a painful punishment.” (Quran 9:34).

Jesus knew where this young man’s heart was—in his wealth, and he wasn’t about to part with it, not even for eternal life. ,Christian, be careful! The desire for stuff is lurking around every corner. Also when Christians talk of heaven, it’s the mansions and streets of gold that become the focus of their attention, should it not be God’s presence?

Published by Terry Threadwell

Dr. Terry Threadwell has thirty five years ministry experience. Author, educator and Director of the Institute of Progressive Pentecostal Studies.

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