We seek what we desire. If we seek the kingdom of God, we will pursue the Lord Jesus and aim our love toward knowing him. But if we seek materialism, wealth, and the accumulation of stuff we will never have enough because worry and fear shall always overwhelm the voice of God’s kingdom. I make it sound easy, as if the choice were so clear. On one level it is, but, like most things, it is complicated because we are all a weird hybrid of competing loves and desires.
So, let’s make a few distinctions that might help us clarify our kingdom calling. Materialism is not the same thing as hard work. Materialism is a shield we lug around to protect us from failure and poverty; hard work is about healthy achievement and proper patient growth of assets. Materialism puts us on a performance treadmill, tied to our self-worth; hard work seeks to improve and is satisfied with a job well done. Materialism has a never-ending quest for security and protection, but hard work brings gratitude and joy.
The pursuit of wealth seeks to avoid the criticism of others, seeks their approval, and wrongly believes that money will take away feelings of hurt, pain, and discomfort. But seeking God’s kingdom as the passionate priority of our lives is the true path of taking away fear and worry. Any worldly fool can make money; but only the wise and righteous person is able to manage resources in a way that glorifies God, builds up the church, and blesses others. And it all begins with knowing the difference between depending on God versus depending on self.
Merciful God, thank you for giving me everything I need for life and godliness in this present world. Forgive me for every doubting your goodness and ability to provide for me. Let my life bless the name of Jesus. Amen.