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Cody Ray Rosenbalm 12/01/11 Biblical Foundations Shetter, Tony Materialism !

Years ago, when Moses had a unique blessing to be able to communicate with

God, he was presented with the a Ten Commandments engraved on stone tablets. The rst of these commandments seems to be the simplest, and is often overlooked. However, it is quite certain that every human being has broke the commandment to put no other gods before me. ! I picked this topic because it is one that I have been struggling with my whole life,

and is playing a big role in making my career choice now. ! At the time that the commandments were presented other gods mostly included

idols, such as the golden calf of Exodus 32 which satised the Israelites during moses absence, while receiving the ten commandments. This was a classic example of the two main ways we often fall victim to evil in accordance to this commandment. For one, the Israelites created something of the world, then commenced to worshiping that object above god. Also, this showed that they felt the need for this new god in the absence of Moses. Which tells us that they must have had idolized Moses, a messenger of God, above God himself. ! These two ways of idolization are still very common today. The act of putting

something made of the world before God. Such as, Facebook, sports, television, gambling, etc. As well as the act of putting another person before God. Such as,

celebrities, or our boyfriend, or girlfriend. Though these things do not seem to be a god that we put before our Lord, if they become something that is of higher priority in our lives, or that consumes most of our time and/or thoughts, even things as mentioned above can in fact be gods. A denition of god is; One that is worshiped, idealized, or followed as we often place on celebrities, hobbies, etc. ! So it becomes obvious why materialism relates to this law, which is the rst, and

to me the most important case against materialism. Our God is a jealous God, not jealous in the way of sin, but because he created us for a relationship with him. Putting another object or being in the place of God surpasses the purpose that He created us for, for our own. ! Second to this case, trying to redesign the purpose we were created for is the

same as trying to t things of the world in a God-shaped hole. It either doesn't t and drives us to other objects to try, or it ts, but doesn't ll, and therefore isn't fullling. ! Aside from commandments which we should honor, the bible is full of Gods

words to protect ourselves. If you look at what God tells us to do, the commandments, the virtues, the attributes we should apply to our lives, work and relationships, are really for our own good. Though they do honor God if we follow them, they are only for the better of us. In the case of materialism, I found 23 verses in the bible that regard to materialism and in my own opinion, I can see them as God giving us advice. For example, Matthew 6:19-20 says, Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. This advises us against working toward earthly

treasures such as money, toys, status, jobs, etc. which can be destroyed, then suggest an alternative. I don't want this to seem as if they are merely suggestions as this is the life God commands us to live. However, this does allow us to realize that God loves us, and has set commandments that are for our own good, because of his love for us. These particular words of God advise us to live a life separate from materialism in order that we work instead for treasures that will sustain because they are in the kingdom of God. But also, God has a desire for us to live only for Him, and not to put anything above Him. As money can easily take place of this. Therefore, in Jesus teachings He told us a story as an example of the result of a materialistic lifestyle, and the result of a non-materialistic lifestyle. The story comes from Luke 16:19-31 and goes like this: There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and ne linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side... ! Materialism and putting emphasis on things obtained in life, is sin, because of the

rst commandment. However, it is also no good for our lives either. ! As I search for a future career, I often times nd myself dreaming and starting to

work towards career that would have me high in the government, or in the business world, or the like, and I often have to be re-reminded our purpose in life. This is how I struggle with materialism, though much different then the average view of the subject. The thought of being in high status, or having some sort of elite access, or respect,

often excites me. However, it is in these stages that I nd myself drifting away from God, and putting these types of things above Him. Not that people of wealth are bad, or that anyone with elite status is a straight-up sinner, but as for me and my life, this is where that struggle of materialism comes to play. My solution for overcoming this is to picture myself at the end of my life. Lying in a casket, looking back at my life. What matters now? What in my life wasted my time? In this moment I always wished I had lived my life for God, and any dream of building a successful career vanishes, along with any fortune obtained, and the pair of jet skis I worked overtime for, all become waste. ! James 4:14 says, Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what

is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. What is important in your life? Is it worth working for treasures of the earth?