As goods increase,
so do those who consume them.
And what benefit are they to the owners
except to feast their eyes on them?

Ecclesiastes 5:11

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

Matthew 6:25-27

Materialism is misunderstood. It has become a catch-all term that encompasses consumerism, greed and the obsession with material goods. In philosophy, it is a framework of understanding which states that everything which actually exists is made of matter, that is to say the world is material.

One reading of Scripture concurs with this. The first century Greek word for spirit, πνεῦμα (pneuma), means breath literally but philosophically referred to invisible matter. In other words, on some level, the spiritual is made of stuff, just a kind of exotic stuff we cannot measure with our limitations.

In that line of thinking, we cannot excuse neglecting the things made of tangible matter in our pursuit of spiritual (pneumatic) goals. The two things are part of the same world! Immeasurable and intangible as it may be at times, we see the connection between the movement of the world and the spirit.

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

James 2:14-17

I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.

Luke 16:9

So in some way, Christians must be materialistic; we must consider the connection between how we use the material goods of this world to accomplish spiritual ends because we know it is all connected!

Ethan Kirl