We live in a materialistic culture, constantly hounded to buy, get, spend, acquire a 1,000 things we are led to believe we cannot afford to be without. We are told that life will be vastly improved by the acquisition of ‘this’, ‘that’ or ‘the other’. I grew up in the 20th century, and I watched this materialism develop, but I find that its growth in the 21st century is beyond comprehension. We find ourselves individually targeted through our phones [and other appliances] as our choices are monitored, and personal preferences noted. It’s bizarre, and more than a little scary! Do you ever feel pressure from these tactics? Or frustration? Do you feel drawn into the ‘must have’ scene?
Writing to 1st century believers, the apostle John cautioned, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them” [1John 2:15]. I wonder what he would think of our world, and its obsession with ‘things’! John is not writing about the planet, but refers to the world-system which changes and develops in every era. A.W. Tozer watched this development in his time, and was appalled. “No oriental monarch,” he wrote, “ever ruled his cowering subjects with any more cruel tyranny than things – visible things, audible things, tangible things – rule mankind.” Dr. Tony Evans reflects, “You love the world when it owns your affections and governs your choices by getting you to exclude [Yahweh].”
Are you ruled by the need for, or the acquisition of, ‘things’? Are you controlled by the world-system of your generation? Does the world own your affections or govern your choices? The apostle goes on to describe the world as offering “only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions” [v16, New Living Translation]. What a sad picture! The life we live as believers in Yahshua is ‘hidden with the Messiah in (Yahweh)’ [Colossians 3:3]. The fleeting pleasures of the world-system have no place in the new life, and the cost of dallying with them is subtle and deeply spiritual. Take care of yourself!