Summary: It starts when we’re young. We go through the ‘mine, mine, mine’ stage. Trying to convey the concept of sharing to a toddler isn’t exactly easy. But possessiveness is something that doesn’t necessarily disappear with age. The ‘mine’ syndrome is something

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INTRODUCTION: It starts when we’re young. Toddlers going through the ‘mine, mine, mine’ stage. Shaun doesn’t exactly go around saying that but if he sees it, likes it and wants it, in his mind there is an automatic transfer of ownership. Trying to convey the concept of sharing to a four-year-old isn’t exactly easy. If Shaun sees you on the computer and you try to tell him, ‘it’s mommy or daddy’s turn’ you won’t hear, “okay, let me know when you’re done; I can wait.” Possessiveness is something that doesn’t necessarily disappear with age. The ‘mine’ syndrome is something we might still be struggling with. Last week John preached about what we need to be devoted to. Today I’m going to preach on what we shouldn’t be devoted to. Let’s learn about materialism.

1) The dangers of materialism. The Encarta dictionary defines materialism as, ‘devotion to material wealth and possessions at the expense of spiritual or intellectual values’. This sounds pretty dangerous to me. But what are the dangers of materialism?

· It’s deceiving. One way materialism deceives me is that it makes me think that my wealth determines my worth. Billionaire Ted Turner once said, “It’s all relative. I sit down and say, ‘I’ve got $10 billion, but Bill Gates has $100 billion; I feel like a complete failure in life.” We are tempted to have a ‘keep up with the Jones’ mentality. We can fall into the trap of, ‘I’m a failure unless I have as much, if not more, than you. That way of thinking is not only wrong; it’s dangerous. That mindset will ruin me because no matter how well I think I’m doing materially, I will see someone who has more and I’ll be brought back to my feelings of inadequacy. In this we fail to recognize that our worth comes not in dollar signs but in God’s eyes. Another way materialism is deceiving is because it makes me think that the more I have the happier I’ll be. All he ever wanted was more. He wanted more money so he turned inherited wealth into a billion dollars worth of assets. He wanted more fame so he broke into the Hollywood scene and soon became a film producer and star. He wanted more thrills so he designed, built and piloted the fastest airplane in the world. He wanted more power so he secretly dealt political favors so skillfully that two presidents became his pawns. All he ever wanted was more. He was absolutely convinced that more would bring him contentment. Unfortunately, history shows otherwise. He died emaciated, weighing only 95 pounds. His fingernails resembled grotesque, long corkscrews. His teeth were rotting, and countless needle marks covered his body from his drug addiction. I’m talking about Howard Hughes. Ecc. 5:10 says that, “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.” Materialism is deceptively dangerous.

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