Our problem is that we think we need so much more than we really do. Consider the fact that when God created Adam and Eve, they owned nothing, and yet they were living in a paradise. Obviously, God did not intend for us to derive our happiness from collecting material things. Have you ever considered that Jesus never once turned on a faucet or stood under a shower in a bathroom? He never washed His clothing in a washing machine; He never opened the door of a refrigerator. He never drove a car or even a bicycle for that matter. Not once did He listen to a radio, speak to someone over a phone, cook a meal on a stove, or preach through a public address system. He never watched a video or a television show, turned on an electric lamp, or cooled off in front of an air conditioner or electric fan. He never owned a wristwatch. He didn’t have a closet full of clothing. How could He have been happy?
In the United States (and perhaps in your country as well), we are bombarded with advertisements that show us how happy people are as they enjoy their new material things. Consequently, we are brainwashed (or “brain-dirtied”) into thinking that happiness comes from acquiring more, and regardless of how much we accumulate, we’re never content. This is what Jesus referred to as “the deceitfulness of riches” (Matt. 13:22). Material things promise happiness but rarely deliver on their promise. And as we join the world’s frenzied race to acquire more material things, we actually become idolaters, slaves to mammon, who forget God and His most important commandments to love Him with all our hearts and our neighbor as ourselves. God warned about this very thing to Israel:
Beware lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today; lest, when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built good houses and lived in them, and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold multiply, and all that you have multiplies, then your heart becomes proud, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery (Deut. 8:11-14).
Similarly, Jesus warned that “the deceitfulness of riches” could potentially choke spiritual life from a true believer who allows himself to become distracted (see Matt. 13:7, 22). Paul warned that “the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil,” saying that “some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with many a pang” (1 Tim. 6:10). We are admonished by the author of the book of Hebrews, “Let your character be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you'” (Heb. 13:5). These are just a sampling of Scripture’s warnings regarding the dangers of wealth.