MoneyWise Live


A Brief History of Closets (Materialism)

April 1, 2019

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal … ” Jesus’ words in Matthew 6 are a warning about the dangers of materialism. But are we heeding them?  It’s a material world— we’ve heard that for decades— but that doesn’t mean you have to be part of it. Rob West with some the warning signs of materialism. 

  • Most of us are very familiar with Jesus’ warning about earthly treasures but is He saying that money and things are bad and we shouldn’t have them?
  • It was actually Roman soldiers who first made something resembling a closet. 
  • The modern word “armoire” comes from “armarium” and the Roman weapons case eventually became a cabinet for storing objects— usually clothes. 
  • We didn’t need much storage space until well into the 20th century with the advent of consumerism. 
  • Now we have self-storage outfits all over the place where people actually pay a monthly fee to store stuff they can’t fit into their houses.

Q - How do we know if we’re taking care of our stuff or our stuff is taking care of us?

  • Examine your attitude. Do you own the things crammed into your garage, or does God? 

Q - How we do we know we’re not fooling ourselves? Maybe we say God owns everything but we’re still coveting stuff?

  • First, you feel you deserve a higher lifestyle. 
  • You measure success by the world’s standards, not God’s. 
  • You feel superior or inferior to others based on their net worth. 
  • You admire people for their wealth and look down on people who have less than you.
  • You ignore God’s direction by failing to go where He leads you because it would mean giving up what you consider the good life. 
  • You no longer care about the needs of others. 
  • You disregard God’s command to be generous to the poor.

Q - What do we do if we notice we've fallen into one or all of these habits?

  • Pray that God would restore a balance in your life. 
  • Give stuff away. 

Next, Rob and Steve answer these questions at 800-525-7000 or via email at Questions@MoneyWiseLive.org:

  • If you're a minister and opt out of Social Security, what are the ramifications?
  • If you're 61, debt free, plan on retiring soon, have $850,000 in retirement but have no idea where to put your money, where do you start post retirement?
  • If you're thinking of loaning your daughter and her husband money, how does the internet they pay affect your taxes?
  • If your husband has recently passed away an he had a 401(k), what are the steps you should take to either move it or keep it where it is?
  • What are the pros and cons of student loan forgiveness?
  • If your husband is a Registered Nurse looking to work as a Nurse Practitioner, what is the best type of loan with the lowest interest?
  • If you want to assist your widowed mother-in-law in her mid-70's, what advice should you give her particularly in light of her age?
  • If you have two children age 8 and 10 and are interested in a 529, what happens if they don't attend college?
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