Wednesday, August 5, 2020 01:03

Too Much of a Good Thing

no new stuff, stewardship, materialism,

Shakespeare had one of his characters ask, “Can one desire too much of a good thing?” My answer is a resounding “YES!”  And I am not the only one to say thus (to keep the Shakespearean English for a bit longer).  I remember as a kid making myself sick with too much watermelon.  I won’t describe the consequences in colorful detail, but you know what I mean.

Randy Alcorn said thus in Managing God’s Money when he named the third fatal danger of materialism.  It blinds us to the curses of wealth.  Yes, while money, wealth, and possessions may be good things which in many cases indicate the blessing of God, in excess they may become a curse.

Indeed the curses are plural. The prophet Ezekiel told the king of Tyre straight up: “. . . your riches have made you very proud” (Ezek. 28:5).  God spoke of Israel: “When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me” (Hosea 13:6).  And the writer of Ecclesiastes concluded that all his excesses were meaningless vanity (Eccl. 12:8).  Any thing or any condition that causes us to trust God less is bad for us spiritually.  And certainly having many riches and too much stuff can do it.  That is why the only prayer request recorded in the book of Proverbs is this:  “Give me neither poverty nor riches . . .” (Pr. 30:8).  If we truly desire to be rich toward God, our hearts should echo the same prayer.

Larry Burkett points out the curse of materialism.  “Poverty is not God’s norm, but neither is lavishness.  It is clear from God’s Word that affluence presents the greatest threat to our walk with the Lord:  Where your treasure is, there your heart will be.  Perhaps in our society nothing reflects more the futility of riches than very wealthy people who, at the end of their lifetimes, look back and decide their entire lives have been spent in true futility.  Howard Hughes was the consummate example of this problem.  One of the world’s wealthiest men, he ended up starving himself because he feared dying.  Truly the futility of riches is a lack of trust in God.”

America may well be the richest nation on earth.  I believe we as individuals and we as a nation are blessed to be a blessing.  But if we do not use our riches and our stuff to accomplish that God-given goal, then perhaps God allows our excess to become a curse.  Then, certainly it is too much of a good thing.

Questions:  Do you think that the wealth of America is more of a blessing or a curse?  How about on the individual level?  Can you illustrate the curse of too much of a good thing?

Day 24:  NEW STUFF = 0

© 2011, Linden Kirby, Excel Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. 

One Response to “Too Much of a Good Thing”

  1. Lauren says:

    I think America's wealth is both a blessing and a curse.  When our country and the people in it, use wealth to bring about good, like in ground-breaking healthcare research or humanitarian missions, it blesses both the giver and the receiver. In the healthcare example, the blessing is not only in the "good feeling" that it brings when helping others, but there is also benefit to America when "bright minds" from other nations move to the U.S. to participate in the research for instance.  However, when our country produces films and music that promote negative values, it brings a curse not only to those who see the film/listen to the music and act on what they see/hear, but this type of media adds to the overall degredation of our cultural morality, which has countless negative effects.