“They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator.” — Romans 1:25
Tim Keller somewhere has offered that if you live in America, you are most likely a materialist. Even those of us who seem to have very little, still feel the pull of the “stuff” of this world like a tractor beam, sucking us right in. Living in Ocala, I suddenly begin to believe that I need a truck to be worth something. Seeing my circle of friends all enjoy Apple computers leads my heart to believe that I can’t survive without a Mac.
My heart is bent, almost instinctively, towards tying my sense of self to having things. I’ll admit that I may be worshipping wealth and status, but I so often forget that where worship is, service follows closely behind. In this context slavery might be a better word. I am a slave to my possessions, and the cycle never seems to end. Unless, by some miracle, the object of my affections is somehow the thing my soul was made to be satisfied in having. You see, Christ is my only possession. I can lose all else, yet still have him and be okay.
That sounds great right? The truth is, you and I will never give up an idol without leaving claw marks on it. The only thing powerful enough to overtake and destroy an idol is the expulsory power of a new affection. We will never die to sin without seeking the Lord, and that only over a lifetime. The Christian life is not so much about one big decision, as it is about ten thousand little decisions toward the mortification of the flesh.
If we are going to be a more giving people, we cannot start with percentages. Jesus is not interested in negotiating for a percentage of our money, while at the same time we hang onto our self salvation. All of us have our hearts to give to the Lord, no matter what our wallets reflect. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” Dear friends, rest in this Jesus today.