“The blessing of the Lord makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.” Proverbs 10:22
We usually get angry at those who call us materialistic. They seem to be envious of what we have and want to make us feel guilty for having it. Whether we agree with them or not, when this happens, many of us rightly ask ourselves some questions. “Is it really about my need or is it about my greed? Am I really materialistic? Is it wrong to have a lot?”
We live in a materialistic world and we have much more than most people do. Because we know that, it is hard not to make the comparison and feel a bit awkward, in the flesh anyway, for having so much. Those who are envious often take advantage of this awkwardness trying to make us believe that we shouldn’t have it or, better yet, we should give it to them. And they will work their magic to manipulate and oppress us in order to get more for themselves. Or maybe we have spent so much time listening to others tell us what is wrong about what we have, that we are focusing on responding to the envy rather than looking at the good in the riches and the blessings we enjoy.
Solomon encourages us in Proverbs 10:22: “The blessing of the Lord makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.” Remember that Solomon, who wrote the Proverbs, was a very rich man. And he talks about our relationship to our “stuff” in his journal, Ecclesiastes, in Chapter 2 verse 24: “There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God.” And in Ecclesiastes 3:12-13, he says “I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.”
What if we really believed that what we have has been given to us by the hand of God? How differently would we perceive our riches? How differently would we respond to the person calling us a materialist?