The want for “more” to be “more.”
Material cravings are anything that makes us feel and become more. More what? More secure, beautiful, successful, and essential—and the list goes on and on. Material cravings are predicated on the unfounded thought that we are not enough; hence, in our attempt to prove our adequacy, we use material objections to prove our value, worth, status, and standing before man.
Have you ever craved a new set of shoes or clothes, a new watch, phone, or gadget just because you imagined it would make people respect you more? Have you ever wanted a lot of money to tell yourself that you are more successful than the people around you? That is material craving to satisfy the longing for “more.”
The heart of the issue
Do note that this is not to say that we are not supposed to want material things. Remember that every good and perfect gift is from God. However, we need to be willing to look deep into ourselves and identify why we have such a material craving. Why are we longing for this material object? Why are we seeking for this material to be in our possession? The answer to that determines whether our material craving is pleasing to God or not.
When Satan tempted Jesus, he knew that material possessions were one of the human beings’ legitimate needs. This is because the desire to accumulate more is a gift from God. This gift, however, can be distorted when our hearts are not in the right place.
In Matthew 4:5-6, the Bible tells us that Satan took Jesus to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and all their splendor. Here, the devil made Jesus long for material possessions to gain power and authority. Jesus, however, rebuked Satan. Why? Because he knew full well that mere material things could not give power and control. One gains power and authority through the Holy Spirit of God. So, Jesus’ heart remained in God and for God.
Thus, it is a heart issue. God wants to give us the desires of our hearts. But the question is, is our soul in the right place? Remember, God sees our hearts (1 Sa. 6:7). The nature of the issue is an issue of the heart.
Money does not buy everything.
The craving for material things sometimes has the unexamined assumption that everything has a price; that is, everything we need can be bought. The gospel of Mark has a very important teaching: “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?” (Mrk. 8:36). Not everything is beneficial for us. More so, not every gain is to be celebrated, for it may bring us a step closer away from God. If you think about it, not every material object we achieve matters. After all, as written in the book of Ecclesiastes, everything we have in our possession can be meaningless and just mere vanity. The same could be true about us. Finding contentment, pleasure, value, and worth in the material things we possess are like chasing after the wind (Ecc. 2:11).
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