Christian author Marjorie Holmes once faced a tough time of trial after one of her close friends passed away. Her friend had much wealth, had many possessions, and had social status. Yet despite her luxury, she was called home while her possessions remained. Holmes wrote the following prayer after her friend’s death:
Help me not to put too much stock in possessions, Lord. I want things, sure. But life seems to be a continual round of wanting things-from the first toys we fight over as children to our thrilled unwrapping of wedding presents to those we buy in our old age. Our concern is not primarily love and friends and pride in what we can do, but things. Sometimes I’m ashamed of how much I want mere possessions-things for my husband and the house and the children. Yes, and things for myself, too. And this hunger is enhanced every time I turn on the television or walk through a shopping mall. My senses are tormented by the dazzling world of things. Lord, cool these fires of wanting.
Our world has made a career out of marketing possessions. People study trends, analyze prices, and tailor-make ads to target shoppers. Even the layout of stores play a large role in getting customers to purchase more items. While purchasing possessions and owning nice things is not wrong at all, desiring them more than you desire God is idol worship.
Consider Paul’s pronouncement to the Corinthian Christians: “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.”( 1 Corinthians 13:1-3). Even if Paul had talents, abilities, and possessions beyond others, and yet did not have love for others, all was lost.
Paul taught the Corinthians that earthly goods meant little if they didn’t seek heavenly treasures. In your own life, ask yourself this: Do I desire a possession or ability more than I desire God’s blessings? Sometimes we put earthly objects above God’s blessings. We make an idol out of objects.
Recognizing idols in your life isn’t always easy. You may feel your pursuits are justified, your passions warranted. But take a minute to lay your heart open before God. Seek His help in identifying idols in your life. And as He reveals idols, willingly give them up so that His will may be done through you.(Daily in the Word}