MATERIALISM, HUMILITY, AND COVETING
Religion says prosperity leads to coveting. That’s backwards. It’s poverty and unequal distribution that ferments covetousness, not prosperity.
The cure for covetousness is abundance. For example, if your home is as nice as your neighbor’s, it’s unlikely you’ll covet his house.
Religion says, if you like nice things or have good taste, that you’re being materialistic. Wrong again. Having things is not materialism.
Materialism is using a physical thing to satisfy a spiritual or emotional need.
For example, fear is a spiritual deficiency. A ninety-pound weakling buys a gun to make himself feel strong. Now, he’s a frightened kid with a dangerous weapon. That’s materialism.
A middle-aged man feels sexually inadequate, so he buys a red convertible to impress the chicks. Now, he’s a pathetic old-guy with an expensive, young-guy car. That’s materialism.
A middle-class girl feels mediocre, so she dyes her hair blue, pierces her nose, gets tattooed, and dresses like Cruella Deville to get attention (Now she’s indistinguishable from the nameless hordes of nonconformist clones). That’s materialism.
Jesus wasn’t materialistic. He didn’t live in a palace to make himself feel like a king. He lived in a palace, because He was the King, and His home was appropriate for who He was.
Perhaps we should think about how we’re representing God?
Some say poor people are humble. Oh, I think not! Biblical prosperity is humbling: The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance. (Ro 2:4)
I’m sure you’ve met folks who are poor and proud of it. Also, I’m sure you’ve some sweet and humble rich people, right?
True humility is putting God’s word above our own thoughts and feelings. Humility is accepting what Christ died to give us, and being obedient to His will.
Let’s take our example from Jesus:
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name. (Phil 2:6-9)
Was Jesus rich? Yes! Did He have a grand house? Yes! Was He powerful? Yes! Is He highly exalted? Yes, He is! In He humble? Yes!
We are humble when we allow God to prosper us in accordance with His Word. Resistance to God’s word is the worst kind of pride.
God sent Jesus to shed His blood to redeem us from poverty, sickness, and spiritual death. If we choose to accept poverty, sickness, or spiritual death, then we are choosing our will above His will, and that’s rebellion and pride.
Some may say, I don’t believe in healing, or I don’t believe in prosperity. My soft reply is, what does the Word say? When did man’s opinion become exalted above the Word of God? That’s how Lucifer got in trouble, exalting his will above God’s word. That was Adam and Eve’s original sin.
Child of God, if you are apt to fight, fight the fight of faith — don’t fight God.
Here’s a question for you: If you received a million-dollar, surprise blessing, today, would you thank God for it, or would you praise yourself?
This blog is one of a series of excerpts of my manuscript called Codex Rex — The Book of the King. Your comments and questions will help me improve the manuscript before publication.
Larry Huggins is a father, a husband, a pastor and a missionary, an author, and a broadcaster. He has traveled to scores of nations, planting churches and bible schools, and conducting seminars and evangelistic crusades.