George Harrison was one of the Beatles, one of the greatest and most influential pop bands of all time. Harrison knew fame, adulation, the pleasure of mastering his craft, the sense that his was a formative influence on music. So his comment in the Beatles Anthology is instructive: “When you’ve had all the experiences – met all the famous people, made some money, toured the world and got all the acclaim – you still think ‘is that it?’. Some people might be satisfied with that, but I wasn’t and I’m still not.” (Source: Reported by Ananova News Service, Nov 30 2001)
The story of George Harrison elucidates man’s insatiable hunger for more and more material things. Materialism, which is a tendency to consider material possessions and physical comfort as more important than spiritual values is a disastrous attitude. It is another devastating cultural climate of our time, and one form of modern idolatry that has become a dominant value of our age. It is satanic to think that worldly possessions would equal joy. It is a blatant lie! The acquisition of this world’s riches can never guaranty happiness, rather it leads to more discontent and and depression. The nature of wealth is such that plenty of it lead to more discontentment, and depravity
The wisest King that ever lived has this to say, “Here is one alone -no one with him; neither has child nor brother. Yet there is no end to all his labor, neither is his eye satisfied with riches, neither does he ask, For who, do I labor and deprive myself of good? This is also vanity (emptiness, falsity, and futility); yes it is a painful effort and an unhappy business (Ecclesiastes 4:8). In talking about King Solomon, Matthew Henry wrote, “This was he, who, having tasted all earthly enjoyments, wrote a book, to show the vanity of all worldly things, the vexation of spirit that attends them, and the folly of setting our hearts upon them: and to recommend serious godliness, as that which will do unspeakably more to make us happy, that all the wealth and power he was master of; and, through the grace of God, it is within our reach.”
“Self” is at the core of all the various forms of modern idolatry. We may no longer be involved in Fetishism, or Nature worship, but we worship the god of self. All idolatry of self has at its core the three lusts found in 1 John 2:16: “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” For many of us, materialism have taken over the place of God and the thoughts of eternity. ‘First, we worship at the altar of materialism which feeds our need to build our egos through the acquisition of more “stuff.” Our homes are filled with all manner of possessions. We build bigger and bigger houses with more closets and storage space in order to house all the things we buy, much of which we haven’t even paid for yet.’
‘Most of our stuff has “planned obsolescence” built into it, making it useless in no time, and so we consign it to the garage or other storage space. Then we rush out to buy the newest item, garment or gadget and the whole process starts over. This insatiable desire for more, better, and newer stuff is nothing more than covetousness. The tenth commandment tells us not to fall victim to coveting: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Exodus 20:17). God doesn’t just want to rain on our buying sprees. He knows we will never be happy indulging our materialistic desires because it is Satan’s trap to keep our focus on ourselves and not on Him.’
Jesus’ warning that materialism is destructive to our souls, and can jeopardize our faith. Yet, we find it very difficult to let go of worldly possessions and riches. The brevity of life is one good reason to seek only things that gives eternal values. The world’s riches, fame and accomplishments are vain, and they would be consume with this world. Only those who have stored for themselves treasures in heaven would have a place in God’s presence. “If you seek, as now directed, the kingdom of God, first and principally, all things pertaining to this life shall, in the course of the divine providence, be bestowed on you as far as they can contribute to your real welfare, and more you would not desire (Matthew 6:33). Happy are those who’s God is the Lord! (Psalm 33:12). You are winning! Yes, we are winning!