Materialism the tendency to consider material possessions and physical comfort as more important than spiritual values. In philosophy, it is the position that nothing exists except matter — things that can be measured or known through the senses. Materialists deny the existence of spirit, and they look for physical explanations for all phenomena.

While most Christians would never deny the existence of spiritual realities, many live as materialists in the way they address problems and seek solutions.  See how that can play out in our churches.

•Keeps people from tithing and giving generously, because they put their trust in financial security, which they think is jeopardized if they give away their money before they are sure they have enough.

•Keeps people from seeking God’s help when they have physical problems or material needs. After all, we think what comes out of scientific research provides the most reliable knowledge and help. (Click here to see a scripture that exposes this problem.)

•Keeps people looking for happiness and fulfillment in accumulating possessions or buying experiences that stimulate the senses rather than in the presence of God. As a result, many of the people in our churches do not know how to connect with God and need the substitute sensations provided by their preferred kind of music and ambiance.

Read the following scripture and prayerfully consider how this speaks to the problem of materialism. Then pray the prayer of confession on behalf of yourself and our churches.

Psalm 27:4 One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.
Psalm 34:8 Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, I confess that my orientation and first inclination is to put my hope and trust in something from the material world when I need help or seek enjoyment. This is so “natural” that I don’t even recognize when it happens. Forgive me/us. You don’t deserve that slap in the face when You are so good and ever-present. Amen.