According to the Sydney Morning Herald economics editor:
Too many of us spend too much time working and making money, and too little time enjoying the company of family and friends. We live in an era of heightened materialism, where getting and spending to acquire stuff crowds out the social and the spiritual. A higher material standard of living is sought regardless of what price we might pay to achieve that higher standard in terms of stress, reduced leisure, working on weekends or reduced time with family and friends.
What does the Bible say about this topic? King Solomon was one of the wisest and wealthiest people in the ancient world. He found that both wealth and money are meaningless without a relationship with God (Eccl. 2:17-26; 5:8 – 6:12). There is more to life than our material needs. So the economics editor has a valid concern, even though they may not have a long-term solution to the problem.
Idolizing the material world is a great source of evil, “The love of money (or the material world) is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Tim. 6:10NIV). Jesus said, “You cannot serve both God and money (or material things)” (Mt. 6:24). Instead, the Bible urges us to be content with what we have (Mt. 6:31-32; 1 Tim. 6:8, 17). “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Heb. 13:5).
Greed is a serious sin, a form of idolatry, which leads to hoarding, self-sufficiency, indifference, worry, waste, and other sinful behaviors. It is a barrier to heaven and a hindrance to spiritual life. Worshiping money is futile because material wealth is fleeting, uncertain, and of no benefit beyond this life. Loving money is a barrier to loving God; it leads to spiritual weakness. This is a short-term investment that we can’t take with us after death. Anyone, whether religious or not, can abuse money. Is money our master or our servant? If money is our master we are in danger of missing out on heaven, and it’s too late to find this out after we die.
Written, March 2013